Broke LibDems Hire SpAds for Last Days of Government

libdem-spads

The gloves are coming off between the Tories and the LibDems in the dying days of their coalition. Downgraded Business Secretary Vince Cable has been allowed to appoint a new taxpayer funded adviser – his third – despite there being only 2 months left before the government is dissolved. This infuriates the Tories, and they have let rip: “We all know the LibDems are on the brink of bankruptcy”, says Tory MP Julian Smith; “this is a naked attempt by the them to plunder the public finances to bankroll their faltering election campaign.” Victoria Pine, a former lobbyist, will be paid by the taxpayer until the end of March, during which time there will be almost zero government activity. Cable’s other two spin doctors are paid £60,000 each, though Pine’s salary remains a mystery. “You can’t trust a word the Lib Dems say,’ claims Labour’s Sheila Gilmore. “They used to say Special Advisers shouldn’t be paid for by the taxpayer but in Government this has become just another broken promise. Taxpayers will rightly be asking why, at a time when this Zombie Government is barely staggering along, the Libs think it’s appropriate to add more and more advisers to the payroll.” A spokesman for Vince Cable tells Guido lamely: ‘There are already 3 Tory special advisers in BIS and so, as approved by David Cameron, we have brought the number of LibDem spads in BIS up to parity’.

Nick Clegg has also pulled a similar stunt. The Deputy Prime Minister has two dozen taxpayer-funded Special Advisors, and has added another to the list just in time for the election. Ruwan Kodikara has joined Clegg’s team as the his spin-tastic “Head of Media & Brand”. It would be a tough job for anyone to turn around the Lib Dems’ toxic image in just 107 days, but Kodikara has years of experience spinning for the bad guys. Having been a lobbyist for big energy, bad banks, private healthcare and nuclear energy, is he ready for his toughest job yet? Presumably Clegg’s promise to clamp down on lobbying and create a “cleaner, better politics” has gone the same way of his pledge not to raise tuition fees…




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Quote of the Day

Jo Swinson on Chris Rennard…

“Vince — and Tim before him — have repeatedly, publicly said Rennard is not welcome anywhere near their frontbench team, even as an adviser. I remain deeply frustrated that he was not expelled from the party through its disciplinary process. It just feels wrong, and I do not want Lord Rennard to continue as a member of the party. As far as I am concerned, he is not welcome.”

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