Taxpayer 'pays for Samantha Cameron's £53,000-a-year fashion adviser'

'When tough decisions have to be made, I'm not sure the wife of the prime minister needs a special adviser', says MP

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The salary of a "special adviser" who helps Samantha Cameron with her social diary and fashion style is being paid for by the taxpayer.

The aide – normally a position for people who help Government ministers – receives up to £53,000 for advising the prime minister's 44-year-old wife, according to the Mail Online.

Rosie Lyburn, a former model and grandaughter of late Conservative politician Lord Elliott, was hired after last year's general election.

Jess Phillips, Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley, labelled the post a "vanity appointment" in the context of cuts to public funding.

"I've just visited my local Jobcentre, which has had a seven-year recruitment freeze," she told the Mirror.

"When tough decisions have to be made, I'm not sure the wife of the prime minister needs a special adviser."

rosie-lyburn-linkedin.jpeg
Rosie Lyburn, a former model and parliamentary assistant to Conservative MPs, is employed as a special advisor to the prime minister's wife (LinkedIn)

The 28-year-old's salary is reportedly in Pay Band 1 on Number 10's register of special advisers, which covers a range up to £52,999 a year. The average UK salary is £26,500 a year.

A similar debate arose over Ms Lyburn's predecessor Isobel Spearmen, a former fashion PR worker, who was appointed as a stylist for Samantha Cameron in 2012.

Mr Cameron has also been criticised for hiring an "image consultant" at the taxpayer's expense.

At the time Tom Watson, Labour MP for West Bromwich East near Birmingham, said: "The vanity of David Cameron is costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of pounds.

"It's outrageous that he is creating a royal court while at the same time axing half a million public workers."

Samantha Cameron's fashion

Ms Lyburn, who went to Durham University, was a model at Beulah London, and also worked as parliamentary assistant to Conservative politician Alok Sharma and an events manager for the Conservative Party.

She is reportedly a friend of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate.

The government's register lists some 92 "special advisers" at a cost to the taxpayer of £8.4 million a year.

The Conservative Party has presided over about £23bn of spending cuts during their first parliament in power, and are expected to cut spending by another £28bn in the current parliament, according to the Institute of Fiscal Studies.

The Independent has approached Downing Street for comment.

Comments