Special Advisers

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Emma Boon

Lobbyists line up for Tory spad jobs. New transport secretary Chris Grayling has snared the highly-rated Emma Boon as his special adviser. Boon worked for top financial lobbying firm Brunswick before becoming a special adviser in the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs in 2015. David Singleton, Public Affairs News, Aug.31.2016.

Jonathan Caine

Lobbyists line up for Tory spad jobs. Outside of Number 10, another former Bell Pottinger man is the special adviser to the new Northern Ireland secretary James Brokenshire. Jonathan Caine remains in the job having previously worked for both Theresa Villiers and Owen Paterson in the same department. David Singleton, Public Affairs News, Aug.31.2016.

David Frost

Daniel Gilbert

Lobbyists line up for Tory spad jobs. Meanwhile, one former special adviser is heading back to Hanover, which is led by former Tory press chief Charles Lewington. Daniel Gilbert was previously a consultant at Hanover Communications but left in 2015 to work for Jo Johnson at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (now BEIS). After 14 months as a special adviser to the minister, he is returning to the lobbying firm as a senior adviser. David Singleton, Public Affairs News, Aug.31.2016.

Nick Hargrave

Lobbyists line up for Tory spad jobs. Also taking a top job in May’s team is Nick Hargrave, a former speechwriter to David Cameron who also previously worked for Portland Communications. David Singleton, Public Affairs News, Aug.31.2016.

Guto Harri

Hanover hires ex-Tory special adviser Nick King adviser for second stint. Hanover Communications has hired former Conservative special adviser #Nick King for the 2nd time. King rejoins the 30-strong London public affairs team at Hanover as a senior adviser some 6 years after he left the agency. The latest hire at Hanover comes 2 months after the agency appointed former BBC journalist and Boris Johnson aide Guto Harri as a senior adviser. Public Affairs news, Jul.20.2018.

Rupert Harrison

SpAd to George Osborne. Now works for Blackrock. See Rupert HarrisonWikipedia-W.svg.

Fiona Hill

Linkback: Fiona Hill

Graham Hook

Lobbyists line up for Tory spad jobs. New chancellor Philip Hammond has kept hold of his special adviser Graham Hook. Before becoming special adviser to Hammond in 2012, Hook spent two years at lobbying firm Interel Consulting. David Singleton, Public Affairs News, Aug.31.2016.

Nick King

  • Aug.2018 – present: Re-hired by Hanover Communications.[1]
  • Former-Thinktank.svg
    Jan.2018 – Jul.2018: Independent strategic consultant + head of business at right-wing think tank the Centre for Policy Studies.[2]
  • Aug.2015 – Dec.2017: SpAd to Sajid Javid at the Department for Communities and Local Government, now the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government.[3]
  • May.2015 – Jul.2016: SpAd to Sajid Javid at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (now BEIS).
  • Apr.2014 – Apr.2015: Inherited by Sajid Javid, who stepped into Maria Miller's shoes on her forced resignation from the Cabinet after fraudulent expense claims.[4]
  • Former-UK-Parliament.svg
    Oct.2012 – Apr.2014: Hired as a SpAD by Maria Miller, then Culture Secretary at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). This caused a ruckus, due to her predecessor Jeremy Hunt forging "sickeningly close" links between the Cabinet and Murdoch.[5]
  • Jun.2012 – Oct.2012: Senior account director at lobbying firm Hanover Communications, which had strong links to Rupert Murdoch.[5]
  • 2010 – 2012: Worked at lobbying firm Heathcroft Communications.[6]
  • Former-Conservatives.svg
    2009 – 2010: Worked at Conservative Central Office in the research department, covering culture, media and sport issues. Advised Jeremy Hunt MP, with a focus on policy development and political campaigning. Also worked on publications including the Conservative Party's sports manifesto for GE-2010.[7]


  1. ^ Hanover hires ex-Tory special adviser Nick King adviser for second stint. Public Affairs news, Jul.20.2018.
  2. ^ Nick King, Head of Business. Centre for Policy Studies. Accessed Aug.02.2018.
  3. ^ Lobbyists line up for Tory spad jobs. David Singleton, Public Affairs News, Aug.31.2016.
  4. ^ Maria Miller quits as culture secretary after expenses row. BBC News, Apr.09.2014.
  5. ^ a b Will Murdoch move backfire on top Tory? Andrew Pierce, The Mail Online, Oct.14.2012.
  6. ^ LGC100: 50-21 in local government's powerlist. Local Government Chronicle, Jan.16.2018.
  7. ^ Culture Secretary Maria Miller appoints Hanover's Nick King as special adviser. Matt Cartmell, PR Week, Oct.05.2012.

Ian McKenzie

SpAD to Tony Blair

Jimmy McLoughlin

Lobbyists line up for Tory spad jobs. Theresa May has also appointed former Bell Pottinger consultant Jimmy McLoughlin as a special adviser in Number 10. He most recently worked at the Institute of Directors and is son of the current Tory chairman. David Singleton, Public Affairs News, Aug.31.2016.

Neil O'Brien

SpAD to George Osborne, ref

Meg Powell-Chandler

SpAD to Greg Clark

Jessica Seldon

Lobbyists line up for Tory spad jobs. Another former Portland Communications consultant, Jessica Seldon, also works in Number 10 as a senior press officer. David Singleton, Public Affairs News, Aug.31.2016.

Thea Rogers

  • Jan.26.2017: Free tickets for the gravy train: Whitehall committee that NEVER says no to ministers cashing in. Thea Rogers, old job: Chief of staff to George Osborne; new job: Head of global communications and policy at Deliveroo, the food delivery firm. Acoba itself is aware of the problem. Its chairman, Angela Browning, told MPs last year that her committee was worried about the trend towards ex-ministers seeking employment in related sectors. She said the watchdog had neither ‘the resources nor the remit’ to make the significant changes required. Paul Flynn, a Labour MP on the Commons public administration committee, said: ‘It’s a deep-seated and growing scandal, where MPs are allowed to prostitute their insider knowledge to the highest bidder.’ Daniel Martin, The Mail Online. Linkback: Revolving Door

Tim Smith

Lobbyists line up for Tory spad jobs. Tim Smith moves across from the Department for Transport where he recently served as a special adviser to then secretary of state Patrick McLoughlin. He previously spent around two years at Portland Communications. David Singleton, Public Affairs News, Aug.31.2016.

Will Tanner

formerly May’s deputy head of policy. ref Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5757809/Labour-suspends-local-chief-jibing-ISIS-BEHEAD-Emily-Thornberry.html#ixzz5GFetr1Yj Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Adam Werritty

See main article: Adam Werritty

James Wild

Lobbyists line up for Tory spad jobs. Defence secretary Michael Fallon is sticking with his special adviser James Wild as he stays in the same post. Wild spent three years at Hanover Communications before joining Fallon’s entourage in 2012. David Singleton, Public Affairs News, Aug.31.2016.

Jacob Wilmer

SpAD to Greg Clark


  • Oct.17.2017: Time to fix the revolving door rules for special advisers. #Meg Powell-Chandler, former special adviser to UK business and energy secretary Greg Clark, quietly slipped into a new job at heavyweight lobbyists Burson Marsteller (B-M). The agency’s clients include INEOS, the £36bn firm spearheading fracking in the UK, which months earlier had led a lobbying effort to use Brexit as a way to exempt the chemicals sector from climate policy costs. Theresa May’s former energy adviser, Georgia Berry – an ex-Centrica spin-doctor who’d spent just 8 months working in Downing Street - joined Ovo Energy as a top adviser in September. The Sunday Times recently exposed how the government had released only half the required general transparency disclosures since Theresa May became PM last year. Special advisers (‘spads’) departing government previously had to ask the semi-independent, albeit toothless, Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (Acoba) for permission to take up new jobs in the private sector. This was meant to help avoid possible (and perceived) conflicts of interest, particularly given their status as political appointees. But then the Coalition relaxed these exit rules in October 2014, and only the most senior aides at director general level (SCS3) needed Acoba approval. All others had to go through their departments, and of these, only those approvals above a certain senior paygrade [SCS1] had to be published. The move has since shielded a raft of ex-spads and other officials turned corporate lobbyists from the public gaze. Lengthy delays by departments in releasing what little data they must publish have also ensured that light-touch restrictions for some high-profile spads, like Sue Beeby who worked for cabinet ministers Jeremy Hunt and George Osborne, escape scrutiny until long after their new jobs have begun. Beeby’s inexplicably short six-month lobbying ban only emerged in the govt’s pre-Xmas transparency data dump last year, despite her joining Lexington Communications after the summer break. Then there’s ex-Cameron chief whip Alistair Masser who joined Newgate Communications (lobbyists for fracking trade lobbyists UKOOG and Third Energy) as an associate partner in January. The Cabinet Office waited till Jul.04 – 6 months after he had started - to publish details of his new job and conditions – by which time he had actually left. He’s now at Legatum Institute, run by high-profile Tory ex-spad, Phillipa Stroud. ... What’s indisputable is how incredibly useful these ex-political insiders are to commercial lobbyists like B-M, Newgate and Lexington and their deep-pocketed corporate paymasters. 'Meg’s insights and experience from working in the heart of government will be an invaluable asset to our clients’, said B-M boss Stephen Day, himself a former Tory spad. Newgate chief Gavin Devine, another ex-Westminster insider similarly extols Davies’s talents. Unfortunately we have no way of knowing exactly which businesses Davies, Powell-Chandler or Beeby now all represent as paid lobbyists; the UK government’s abysmal lobbying register only compels agencies to name clients who have had contact with (un-named) ministers or permanent secretaries, and not their own staff approaching them or any other government insiders. ...INEOS director Tom Crotty’s latest extra role as head of a new Brexit-focused CBI manufacturing council. Crotty also leads the Chemistry Growth Partnership, the very lobbying group mentioned earlier, that pushed ministers for climate costs exemptions. Melissa Jones, SpinWatch.
  • Aug.08.2016: Special advice will be limited in purge of political cronies. Theresa May is clamping down on the number of political advisers and ensuring that “cronies” or “troublemakers” are not appointed to these influential roles. The prime minister intends to limit the number of special advisers, or spads, to 2 per cabinet minister. During the coalition govt, the total rose to 107, with several ministers having 3 or 4 each. The pay bill footed by the taxpayer grew from about £6m a year under Tony Blair to more than £9m last year under David Cameron. The aides, normally handpicked by cabinet ministers, earn from £64,000 to £140,000. ... There were huge tensions between Mrs Hill and Craig Oliver, Mr Cameron’s former communications chief, and she was forced to resign in 2014 after briefing against Michael Gove in a spat over Islamist extremism in schools. Mrs May will ensure that few if any spads linked to Mr Gove, the former justice secretary, or George Osborne, the former chancellor, survive. She was suspicious of Dominic Cummings, a former spad to Mr Gove, who was expert at poisonous briefings. more... Under John Major there were 34 to 38 spads. Tony Blair bumped this up to 84 and David Cameron had 107 during the coalition, falling to 97 last year. Mr Cameron, George Osborne, Ed Balls and Ed Miliband all worked as advisers before becoming MPs. Jill Sherman, The Times.