Downing Street defended Prime Minister Liz Truss’ chief of staff, Mark Fulbrook, after it emerged that he was being paid through a lobbying firm rather than directly as a civil servant.
The Cabinet Office said it was “not uncommon” for a special adviser to be “seconded” to join the government, and said his salary would be paid to a “seconded company.”
However, the arrangement drew criticism from the opposition that it was a new “conservative negligence”.
As reported by The Sunday Times, No 10 did not deny that Liz Truss’ chief of staff was being paid through Fullbrook Strategies.
A spokesperson for Fulbrook denied speculation that the deal would allow him to pay less taxes.
A spokesperson said, “This is not an uncommon arrangement. It was not put in place for tax purposes and Mr. Fulbrook will not derive any tax benefit from it.”
A Cabinet Office spokesperson said: “All civil servants will be subject to the necessary checks and scrutiny and all special advisers will declare their interests in line with Cabinet Office guidance.
“It is not uncommon for special advisers and civil servants to join the government on secondment.
“The government will pay the salaries of employees on secondment, including expenses such as employer national insurance premiums to the seconded company. This has been cleared by the Cabinet Office’s good ethics team.”
The Sunday Times reported that Fulbrook’s company, which he said had now ceased commercial activity, had contacted the government on behalf of clients including the Libyan House of Representatives, energy suppliers and PPE companies.
Fullbrook has already made headlines since he began his role as the government’s most senior political appointee two weeks ago.
It was revealed last week that he was interrogated as a witness as part of an FBI investigation into allegations of bribery in Puerto Rico.
Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner said the revelation that Fulbrook was “on secondment” from a lobbying firm “raised serious questions about the new prime minister’s judgment.
“The fact that this bomb came just days after alarming reports that Mr. Fulbrook was also involved in a foreign bribery investigation involving the FBI only adds to public concern.
“Liz Truss has shown all the signs of allowing the Tories’ dastardly move to go from bad to worse, but the Labor government is determined to clean up public life and restore the basic standards we have come to expect. will establish an independent Ethics and Integrity Committee.”
Liberal Democrat deputy leader Daisy Cooper said: “Liz Truss’ government has proven to be the same as Boris Johnson’s, and it has fallen into a mean state less than a month into office. There is
“Her chief counsel should not appear to be above national rules and laws. Conflicts of interest urgently require an independent investigation. There is a risk of appearing to admit
Treasury Secretary Kwasi Kwartengu denied knowing anything about Fulbrook’s salary arrangements.
“I think he’s a great professional,” he said on the BBC’s Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg.
“But I know nothing about his compensation and how it is organized.”
The FBI investigation follows allegations that investor and Tory donor Giulio Herrera Bertini promised to help him get re-elected if he dismissed an official investigating a bank owned by a former governor of Puerto Rico. Related.
he denied the charges against him.
Velutini is said to have paid US$300,000 (about £263,000) to CT Group, a political consultancy of which Fulbrook was a director.
A spokesperson for Downing Street said that Truss stands 100 percent for Fulbrook and that “he stands by her all the way.”