The prime minister was quizzed during PMQs today about why he has given his personal photographer a Civil Service job. Some believe it is an inappropriate gesture at a time of mass lay-offs in the public sector.
The story was broken yesterday by James Lyons at the Mirror, who reported:
Labour MPs said the move exposed the PM’s vanity and showed a callous disregard for victims of the ConDem austerity measures. Lisa Nandy said: “At a time when people are losing their jobs and homes this is outrageous.”
Ed Miliband made a joke of it today, saying the “vanity photographer”, Andrew Parsons, did a “nice line in airbrushing”. But the Labour leader also questioned whether it was appropriate when others were tightening their belts.
It has now emerged that the prime minister has also appointed his own video-maker to a civil service post on about £30,000 a year. Nicky Woodhouse was responsible for the famous ‘WebCameron’ video blog – while he was in opposition – showing him washing up while dealing with his noisy infants off-screen.
She is currently working on a video on departmental business plans – it seems unlikely to knock Avatar off the box office top slot.
Cameron’s excuse is that the pair are not just documenting him but the entire government. Also he wanted the pair to be in the employ of the Tory party but officials objected, saying it would be more proper for them to be civil servants.