The Public Private Partnership

By DeusExMacintosh

The woman behind David Cameron’s personal video blog has been given a civil service job as the government’s official film-maker. Nicky Woodhouse, who ran the Webcameron site, was appointed on Monday. This was the same day as former Conservative Party stills photographer Andy Parsons got a civil service job.

Labour said Mr Parsons’ appointment was wrong in difficult economic times, but the prime minister said he had cut government spending on communications.

Both appointees have been hired on short-term or fixed-term contracts which allow the government to take on staff without publicly advertising positions. Downing Street refused to reveal how much the two were being paid, although the government does not publish civil service salaries below £58,200.

During prime minister’s questions, Labour leader Ed Miliband told MPs: “I can’t believe he is talking about hard choices this week – because who has he chosen to put on the civil service pay roll? His own personal photographer.

“There is good news for the prime minister – apparently he does a nice line in airbrushing.”

BBC News


  1. Patrick
    Posted November 5, 2010 at 4:48 am | Permalink

    Yea…I bet I’m not alone in finding this pretty hard to get all that worked up about.

    Presumably these guys only got the original gigs because Cameron was more impressed with them than some other candidates, and presumably he is happy to keep working with them…

    I could easily imagine that the cost of advertising interviewing and generally formally recruiting people would have outweighed any benefit from such a process. After all these people aren’t the chairman of the financial services board or anything like that!

  2. Posted November 5, 2010 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    It is the kind of joke that writes itself, though — has that nice New Labourish spin factor to it.

  3. Posted November 5, 2010 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    Given that one of the traditional desires of the Conservative Party has been to reduce the size of the civil service, making two more of them is pretty funny. Especially in these “we can’t afford it” times of government spending cuts.

  4. Posted November 5, 2010 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    It is also redolent of ‘Yes Minister’, and so very British: ‘No, Minister, it’s not a waste of money if it helps you look better in ‘The Sun’…

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