advisor’, says MP
Samantha Cameron has a personal stylist who is employed on a civil servant’s salary Reuters
The salary of a “special adviser” who helps Samantha Cameron with her social diary and fashion style
is being paid for by the taxpayer.
The aide – normally a position for people who help Government ministers – receives up to £53,000
for advising the prime minister’s 44-year-old wife, according to the Mail Online.
Rosie Lyburn, a former model and grandaughter of late Conservative politician Lord Elliott, was hired
after last year’s general election.
Jess Phillips, Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley, labelled the post a “vanity appointment” in the
context of cuts to public funding.
“I’ve just visited my local Jobcentre, which has had a seven-year recruitment freeze,” she told the
“When tough decisions have to be made, I’m not sure the wife of the prime minister needs a special
The 28-year-old’s salary is reportedly in Pay Band 1 on Number 10’s register of special advisers,
which covers a range up to £52,999 a year. The average UK salary is £26,500 a year.
A similar debate arose over Ms Lyburn’s predecessor Isobel Spearmen, a former fashion PR worker,
who was appointed as a stylist for Samantha Cameron in 2012.
Mr Cameron has also been criticised for hiring an “image consultant” at the taxpayer’s expense.
At the time Tom Watson, Labour MP for West Bromwich East near Birmingham, said: “The vanity of
David Cameron is costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of pounds.
“It’s outrageous that he is creating a royal court while at the same time axing half a million public
Ms Lyburn, who went to Durham University, was a model at Beulah London, and also worked as
parliamentary assistant to Conservative politician Alok Sharma and an events manager for the
She is reportedly a friend of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate.
The government’s register lists some 92 “special advisers” at a cost to the taxpayer of £8.4 million a
The Conservative Party has presided over about £23bn of spending cuts during their first parliament
in power, and are expected to cut spending by another £28bn in the current parliament, according
to the Institute of Fiscal Studies.
The Independent has approached Downing Street for comment.