25. Oct, 2013

SPADS –Special Advisers to Politicians

But what are special advisers, and what exactly do they do? There is surprisingly little on this, academically.

A technical definition: they are temporary civil servants, drawn from outside the traditional civil service structure, and subject to the patronage of ministers for whom they work. In layman terms, civil servants are appointed through open competition and promoted by merit. Special advisers, on the other hand, are appointed personally by ministers, to work for those ministers; when a minister leaves, the spad leaves with them. They may or may not have policy expertise.

What do spads do?

 Most think of them as spin doctors, but this is too crude. Maria Maley, at the Australian National University, has identified five basic functions:    Personal support: managing the minister’s time, determining priorities

    Political support: in parliament, within the party, etc

    Communication: media management, but also management of relations with other key actors

    Policy matters: initiatives, development, implementation

    Executive coordination: between portfolios and between ministries.

Don’t forget whatever they do We Pay For Them - Cameron used to be Norman Lamonts Spad when he was Chancellor

25. Oct, 2013


Minister SpAds, Policy Wonks, Spinners* *This list includes various political appointments, not just SpAds, these are bag carriers of all sorts. Please notify any amendments to  
David Cameron Craig Oliver Graeme Wilson Tara Singh Alan Sendorek
Downing Street Ed Llewellyn Kate Fall Michael Salter Laura Trott
  Christopher Lockwood Liz Sugg Ramsay Jones Isabel Spearman (p/t)
  Oliver Dowden Daniel Korski Claire Foges Richard Parr
Nick Clegg / Ryan Coetzee Hollie Voyce Veena Hudson James Holt
Downing Street Jonny Oates Julian Astle Sean Kemp Emily Frith
  Chris Saunders Polly Mackenzie Zena Elmahrouki Matthew Hanney
  James McGrory Lena Pietsch Shabnum Mustapha Monica Allen
Patrick McLoughlin Julian Glover Ben Mascall    
Edward Davey Chris Nicholson Paul Hodgson    
Danny Alexander Will de Peyer Julia Goldsworthy John Foster*  
Eric Pickles Sheridan Westlake Zoe Thorogood    
Frances Maude Simone Finn Henry Newman    
George Osborne Rupert Harrison Eleanor Wolfson Ramesh Chhabra Neil O'Brien
Iain Duncan Smith Philippa Stroud* Lisa Hunter Romilly Dennys  
Jeremy Hunt Sue Beeby * Ed Jones Christina Robinson  
Ken Clarke Kathryn Laing*      
Justine Greening Victoria Crawford Guy Levin    
Michael Gove Henry De Zoete Dominic Cummings Henry Cook  
Oliver Letwin Martha Varney      
Grant Shapps Alex Doorey      
Owen Paterson Amanda Craig      
Philip Hammond Hayden Allan Graham Hook    
Maria Miller Joanna Hindley Nick King    
David Jones Lauren McEvatt      
Theresa May Nick Timothy Fiona Cunningham Stephen Parkinson  
Theresa Villiers Jonathan Caine      
Lord Hill Flora Rose Elizabeth Plumber Alistair Masser  
Vince Cable Emily Walch Giles Wilkes    
William Hague Denzil Davidson Arminca Helic Chloe Dalton  
David Willets Nick Hillman      
Chris Grayling Amy Fisher Will Gallagher    
Andrew Lansley Chris White      
George Young Ben Williams James Marshall    
Alistair Carmichael Euan Roddin      
Baroness Warsi Jess Cunniffe Naweed Khan    
Greg Barker Maria Allen