Liz Truss’s chief of employees is being paid a wage via a third-party consultancy, the Cupboard Workplace confirmed on Sunday, in a extremely uncommon association for a authorities particular adviser.
Mark Fullbrook, who joined Downing Road this month because the UK prime minister’s most senior aide, is being paid by way of a personal lobbying firm as a substitute of instantly by the federal government.
Particular advisers are usually employed as momentary civil servants, albeit with out the restrictions on political neutrality which are required for many officers.
Fullbrook, as a substitute, will likely be contracted via Fullbrook Methods, a personal firm that he based in April — a call first reported by the Sunday Occasions. The corporate has suspended its business actions whereas he’s working in authorities.
One senior Whitehall official described Fullbrook’s association as “very uncommon”, including: “I’ve by no means heard of a particular adviser being employed by a personal firm.”
One other authorities insider advised that Fullbrook’s association could also be because of the momentary nature of his employment. “Most individuals expect Mark to go away after the primary couple of months — he’s agreed to see via the primary section of the Truss authorities,” the official stated. “That’s why, I count on, he’s not on employees.”
The Cupboard Workplace stated it was “commonplace for a particular adviser or civil servant to affix authorities on secondment”, including that “any authorities worker employed on secondment is topic to the standard particular adviser or civil service codes”.
It confirmed that Fullbrook’s association had been cleared by the propriety and ethics group throughout the Cupboard Workplace that oversees all particular adviser appointments. “The federal government pays the wage of an worker on secondment, together with prices similar to employer’s Nationwide Insurance coverage contributions to the seconding firm.”
Nevertheless, Alex Thomas, a programme director on the Institute for Authorities think-tank, stated it was “very uncommon” and there was “no equal, particularly at such a senior stage” for an aide to be employed as a contractor.
“Secondments occur fairly a bit in Whitehall, and the federal government usually makes use of contractors,” he stated. “However for a everlasting particular adviser to be paid this manner is with out precedent.”
As a longstanding political strategist, Fullbrook has suggested Conservative leaders since Margaret Thatcher. The 60-year-old led Truss’s management marketing campaign and has overseen the transition into authorities.
Final week, it was revealed that Fullbrook was co-operating with US authorities as a part of an investigation into Julio Herrera Velutini, a Conservative get together donor charged over allegations that he illegally supplied marketing campaign donations to a former governor of Puerto Rico.
Velutini has pleaded not responsible to the costs. A spokesperson for Fullbrook stated he complied with all legal guidelines and laws in all jurisdictions and was assured he had finished so on this matter.
Angela Rayner, the deputy Labour chief, stated: “The surprising revelation that the prime minister’s chief of employees is on mortgage from a lobbying firm, not really employed by the federal government, raises severe questions in regards to the new prime minister’s judgment.
She added: “The truth that this bombshell comes days after alarming stories that Mr Fullbrook can also be embroiled in a overseas bribery probe involving the FBI will solely add to public concern.
“Whereas Liz Truss reveals all of the indicators of permitting one other wave of Tory sleaze to fester, a Labour authorities would create an Impartial Ethics and Integrity Fee to scrub up public life and restore the essential requirements we count on.”