£8.4 million of taxpayer cash was spent on 103 SpAds in the last year, a 17% rise on the year before.
Chasing headlines in 2010, Cameron made a big deal of cutting the number of SpAds from 82 to 61. He now personally has 27. Twenty-f**king-seven spin doctors, bag carriers and wonky strategists. No. 10 now has almost half the number of SpAds as served the entire government just five years ago.
Nick Clegg now has twenty special advisers. Nearly double the amount that Jesus got by with.
Why does Esther McVey need a Special Adviser beyond a reshuffle consolation prize, and why is she paid more than dozens of others on the list who report to real cabinet ministers?
Why does the Chief Whip have three advisers at a cost of around £150,000? What are they doing – because there’s no real legislation going through the House?
And finally, Guido cannot fathom why, in his new role as Leader of the House, William Hague still needs three SpAds costing us almost £200,000. Bizarrely Arminka Helic is retained as his adviser on £70,000-a-year, despite recently being ennobled and therefore allowed to claim a £300-a-day allowance in the House of Lords.
What a bloody racket.
UPDATE: Hard to disagree with Angela Eagle:
“Another day, another broken promise from David Cameron and Nick Clegg.
“David Cameron promised to get the cost of politics down but under him the number of Special Advisers spirals ever upwards – the public are now picking up bill of over £8m to pay for his appointees.
“This also shows how you can’t trust a word Nick Clegg says. The Lib Dems used to say that Special Advisers shouldn’t be paid for by the public but as soon as he got his feet under the Cabinet table he broke his word. The cost to the public of Lib Dem Special Advisers is over £1.7million – Nick Clegg alone has more advisers working for him than he has female MPs.”