David Cameron adviser Jonathan Luff quits to join payday lender Wonga as lobbyist
A senior adviser to David Cameron has quit Downing Street to become a lobbyist for Wonga, the controversial payday lender, renewing concerns about the "revolving door" between government and business.
Jonathan Luff, the Prime Minister's adviser on digital strategy, has been given clearance to start work immediately at the company, which has been criticised for charging annual interest rates of up to 4,000 per cent.
Wonga confirmed that Mr Luff, a career diplomat with the Foreign Office before being seconded to Downing Street, would head the company's government affairs team.
The company is fighting regulatory intervention in the payday lending market which threatens to limit the activities of participants, by giving borrowers, often the most vulnerable families, greater protection.
Earlier this year Wonga was censured by the Office of Fair Trading for employing "aggressive and misleading" debt collection practices. It also emerged recently that Wonga representatives paid £1,500 a head to meet ministers at a "speed-dating" policy event at the Conservative conference.
Stella Creasy, the Labour Co-operative MP for Walthamstow and a campaigner for tougher restrictions on payday lending, called on the Government to confirm that Mr Luff would not be allowed to lobby ministers on Wonga's behalf for two years, as regulations demand.
Ms Creasy said: "Wonga is making massive profits from preying on consumers in Britain's poorly regulated consumer credit market. They have used these profits to target our football clubs and Saturday night TV, and now they are targeting the highest echelons of government."
Wonga said Mr Luff's appointment was fully compliant with the Advisory Committee on Business Interests, which scrutinises job moves by civil servants to the private sector but has no power to block a person taking a position.
A spokesman said it was "delighted" that Mr Luff, who for the past two years has worked on the "Great" campaign to promote British excellence overseas, was joining the company.
- 1 PlayStation and Xbox hacked by Lizard Squad
- 3 The Grace Dent Christmas Questionnaire
- 4 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 5 Vagina canoe artist defends herself over ‘obscenity’ charges
PlayStation and Xbox hacked by Lizard Squad
Boxing Day snowfall set to push even more bargain-hunters online for sales
Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
Postcard from... The Vatican
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Alex Salmond has 'broken his word to the Scottish people' says Scottish Lib Dem leader
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...
£70000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketi...