Theresa May has implemented a pay cap on the salaries of special advisers in a bid to clamp down on the “excesses” of previous prime ministers.
According to The Times, the prime minister has said no new government special adviser will receive more than £72,000 a year without authorisation from Downing Street.
But it is unclear whether May’s own senior advisers will be subject to the cap, with her joint chief of staffs, Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill, reportedly receiving higher salaries while working for the Tory leader when she was home secretary.
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Downing Street declined to comment to the paper on what May’s advisers would be paid. Special advisers’ salaries are due to be published at the end of this year.
One former adviser who is not taking up a role under Mrs May told the paper: “I can’t imagine that Nick [Timothy] and Fiona [Hill] are going to be taking a pay cut. It seems all a bit like one rule for one and one rule for another.”
Sue Gray, who is director general of propriety and ethics at the Cabinet Office will be responsible for enforcing the policy.
The paper reports that some would-be special advisers have turned down offers because it would mean taking a pay cut from their current jobs.
In the last year of Cameron’s time at Number 10, 20 advisers were paid more than the new pay cap. The total bill for political aides topped £9.2m.
The former prime minister also drew sharp criticism from civil service unions for signing off additional redundancy payouts for departing special advisers, against the advice of the Cabinet Office permanent secretary John Manzoni.