Downing Street has confirmed it will employ Liz Truss’ chief of staff Mark Fullbrook straight after it emerged he was being paid through his lobbying firm.
Mr Fullbrook will be put on a special adviser contract to avoid “any ongoing speculation”, a No 10 spokesman said on Tuesday.
The Cabinet Office previously said it was ‘not unusual’ for a special adviser to join the government ‘on secondment’ and their salary paid to a ‘secondment company’.
But the arrangement has drawn accusations of being a “dirty conservative” again from opposition parties.
Number 10 did not deny that Liz Truss’ top aide received payments through Fullbrook Strategies, a private lobbying firm he set up in April, as reported by The Sunday Times.
A spokesperson for Mr Fullbrook previously denied speculation that the arrangement would allow him to pay less tax.
The spokesperson said: ‘This is not an unusual arrangement. It was not set up for tax purposes and Mr. Fullbrook does not derive any tax benefit from it.
The No 10 spokesman said on Tuesday: ‘While there are established arrangements for employees to join the government on secondment, to avoid any ongoing speculation Mark Fullbrook will be employed directly by the government on secondment. a special adviser contract.
“All government employees, including those joining the secondment, are subject to the necessary checks and balances, and all special advisers declare their interests in accordance with Cabinet Office guidelines.”
The Sunday Times reported that Mr Fullbrook’s company, which he said has now suspended business operations, contacted the government on behalf of clients including the Libyan House of Representatives, an energy supplier and a utility company. ‘EAR.
Mr Fullbrook has already been in the headlines since he began his role as the government’s top political appointee two weeks ago.
It emerged last week that he had been interviewed as a witness in a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) investigation into allegations of corruption in Puerto Rico.
Deputy Labor leader Angela Rayner said the revelation that Mr Fullbrook is ‘on loan’ from a lobbying firm ‘raises serious questions about the judgment of the new Prime Minister’.
The FBI investigation centers on allegations that conservative financier and donor Julio Herrera Velutini promised to help the former governor of Puerto Rico win re-election if she fired an official investigating a bank he owned there. .
He denied the charges against him.
Mr Velutini reportedly paid CT Group, a political consultancy where Mr Fullbrook was a senior official, US$300,000 (almost £263,000) for work to help Wanda Vazquez’s ultimately unsuccessful re-election campaign Garced in 2020.
A Downing Street spokesman previously said Ms Truss was 100% behind Mr Fullbrook and “he has his full backing”.