Priti Patel ridiculed after handing taxpayer-funded job to former Taxpayers’ Alliance boss

The TaxPayers’ alliance has previously criticised spending vast amounts of public cash on ‘spin doctors’.

Home secretary Priti Patel has been criticised for appointing the former head of a right-wing pressure group that campaigns for lower government spending, to a tax-payer funded role, also raising fears over the neutrality of the civil service.

Jonathan Isaby, the former chief executive of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, took to Twitter on Wednesday to announce his appointment.

He said: “Delighted to share that this week I have taken up a job in the @UKCivilService

 as Communications Private Secretary to Home Secretary @pritipatel in her Private Office at the @ukhomeoffice. Excited to get started in the new role!”

Isaby was previously the editor of Brexit Central, a pro-Brexit news website founded by Matthew Elliott. The TaxPayers’ alliance has previously criticised spending vast amounts of public cash on ‘spin doctors’.

Labour’s shadow home secretary, Nick Thomas-Symonds MP, expressed his concerns about the appointment of Isaby.

He said: “We know Priti Patel is under fire from Tory MPs for failing to get a grip of crime and only last month the Police Federation declared no confidence in her.

“So it’s no wonder she is desperate to bring in an extra spin doctor. But there must be serious questions about someone with such close personal political ties to the Home Secretary could be appointed.

“Yet again it’s one rule for the Tories and their mates, and another for everyone else.”

The appointment was also met with much criticism on social media, with one user on Twitter writing: “At least the Government will have no problem now finding someone to come forward and explain who the “taxpayers alliance” is funded by.

“Priti Patel appoints ex-Taxpayers’ Alliance head as new aide.”

Peter Jukes, editor of Byline Times, wrote in response to Isaby’s tweet: “The Tufton Street crew continue to get their legs under the Government table. Former Tax Payers Alliance types now funded by us. Whatever next?”

The Home Office rejected criticism that the appointment could undermine the Civil Service’s neutrality, saying that the appointment was compliant with the criteria set out within the Civil Services Commission Recruitment Principles.

Basit Mahmood is co-editor of Left Foot Forward

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