Dominic Cummings received No10 pay rise of at least £40,000 this year

Dominic Cummings received a Number 10 pay rise of at least £40,000 this year as Boris Johnson‘s army of Government special advisers cost taxpayers almost £10million. 

Mr Cummings, who is in the process of leaving the Government after losing a Downing Street power battle in November, was listed in the £95,000 to £99,000 salary band in 2019. 

But the latest figures published by the Cabinet Office revealed the PM’s now former chief adviser saw his pay jump to the £140,000 to £145,000 salary band in 2020.

The massive increase in salary came in a year in which Mr Cummings became embroiled in a huge public row over his 260-mile lockdown trip to Durham and amid major criticism of the Government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner said: ‘Cummings’ bumper bonus is an insult to key workers denied the pay rise they deserve. It’s another example of how under this government it is one rule for the Tory Party and their friends and another for the rest of us.’   

Dominic Cummings, pictured leaving Downing Street with a box on November 13, saw his pay increase by at least £40,000 this year

Dominic Cummings, pictured leaving Downing Street with a box on November 13, saw his pay increase by at least £40,000 this year

Dominic Cummings, pictured leaving Downing Street with a box on November 13, saw his pay increase by at least £40,000 this year

Boris Johnson's Government has 102 special advisers, costing the taxpayer almost £10million in 2019/20

Boris Johnson's Government has 102 special advisers, costing the taxpayer almost £10million in 2019/20

Boris Johnson’s Government has 102 special advisers, costing the taxpayer almost £10million in 2019/20

Mr Johnson's press secretary, Allegra Stratton, is one of eleven senior No10 aides who is paid more than £110,000

Mr Johnson's press secretary, Allegra Stratton, is one of eleven senior No10 aides who is paid more than £110,000

Mr Johnson’s press secretary, Allegra Stratton, is one of eleven senior No10 aides who is paid more than £110,000 

The top earners in No10

Eleven of Boris Johnson’s senior aide’s at 10 Downing Street are now on salaries of at least £110,000, the report reveals.

They are in addition to Dominic Cummings and Lee Cain, who left Downing Street last month. 

The report does not reveal exact salaries but shows the salary bracket in which their pay sits. 

They are:

  • Sir Edward Lister, acting chief of staff,  £140,000-£144,999 
  • Munira Mirza, head of policy unit, £140,000-£144,999 
  • Dan Rosenfield, incoming chief of staff £140,000-£144,999 
  • Allegra Stratton, press secretary,  £125,000-£129,999
  • Nikki Da Costa, director of legislative affairs, £125,000-£129,999 
  • David Frost, Brexit negotiator,  £125,000-£129,999 
  • Jack Doyle, deputy director of communications, £110,000-£114,999 
  • Alex Hickman, adviser on business, £110,000-£114,999 
  • Clare King, operations, events and visits, £110,000-£114,999 
  • Oliver Lewis, Brexit adviser, £110,000-£114,999 
  • Ben Warner, data guru, £110,000-£114,999 
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The annual report on special advisers also revealed that Mr Johnson now has eleven senior aides based in Number 10 who all earn at least £110,000. 

Among them is new press secretary Allegra Stratton who is listed as earning between £125,000 and £130,000. 

Sir Edward Lister, the PM’s chief strategic adviser, is listed as being paid between £140,000 and £145,000, the same as Mr Johnson’s policy chief Munira Mirza.

Government special advisers are classed as temporary civil servants who are appointed to provide political advice and assistance to ministers.

The Cabinet Office publishes details about the pay of special advisers every year. 

This year’s report, which deals with the period between April 2019 and March 2020, revealed there were 102 special advisers working across the Government as at March 31. 

However, that number has now increased, with 116 special advisers in Government jobs as at December 15.

The overall special adviser pay bill for the last financial year clocked in at £9.6million.

Some £6.9million of that cash went on salaries while £1.9million went on pension contributions and £800,000 went on National Insurance contributions.  

The overall bill is the same as what was spent on special adviser pay in the 2018/19 financial year.  

Special advisers are entitled to a severance payment when their minister loses their job.

Between April 2019 and March 2020 some £2.7million was paid out in severance payments. 

This figure has been attributed to the high level of staff turnover due to the change in administration following Mr Johnson’s victory in the Tory leadership contest last year.

It came as it was revealed Boris Johnson overruled the Cabinet Office’s most senior civil servant by ignoring advice that the Government should settle a claim for unfair dismissal from a special adviser rather than face legal action.

Sir John Manzoni wrote to the Prime Minister in March advising him to carry out a further negotiation to avoid litigation in the case of Sonia Khan, who was dismissed last August over the alleged leaking of Brexit secrets.

During an angry confrontation in No 10, Dominic Cummings was reported to have accused her of being in contact with allies of her former boss, Philip Hammond, who was chancellor under Theresa May – claims she denied.

She subsequently announced she was taking the Government to an employment tribunal, claiming unfair dismissal and sex discrimination.

It was announced last month that the Government had decided to settle the case, but letters published by the Cabinet Office on Tuesday showed the Prime Minister was intent in March on not doing so.

Sir John Manzoni wrote to the Prime Minister in March advising him to carry out a further negotiation to avoid litigation in the case of Sonia Khan (right), who was dismissed last August over the alleged leaking of Brexit secrets

Sir John Manzoni wrote to the Prime Minister in March advising him to carry out a further negotiation to avoid litigation in the case of Sonia Khan (right), who was dismissed last August over the alleged leaking of Brexit secrets

Sir John Manzoni wrote to the Prime Minister in March advising him to carry out a further negotiation to avoid litigation in the case of Sonia Khan (right), who was dismissed last August over the alleged leaking of Brexit secrets

He wrote in response to Sir John’s letter: ‘Thank you for your letter of 3 March setting out your request for a direction to not enter into further negotiations in respect of the potential legal claim.

‘I understand your concerns as expressed concerning the value for money of contesting the claim without further attempts at settlement, however as you have correctly stated I am able to take into account wider considerations than value for money.

‘The legal position is clear that the Prime Minister can withdraw consent for the appointment of any special adviser. That is the reason for the termination of employment and I am content for a reasons letter to be issued to the individual setting that out.

‘I do not believe that individuals should receive more compensation than they are entitled to under their contract and therefore I believe that this claim should be tested in litigation.

‘Therefore, I instruct that no further offer should be made to attempt settlement in advance of any potential litigation.’ 

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