• Emily Prescott

The Londoner: Jobseeker SpAds flood the market


ONE notable aspect of the recent reshuffle was the large number of special advisers who lost seemingly their jobs at the hands of chief No10 aide Dominic Cummings. So what will become of them?


A former No 10 SpAd, who worked under Cameron and May, told The Londoner that being sacked could be a relief as the job had been taking its toll. “There’s the constant risk of losing your job — if your minister accidentally has a meeting with an Israeli leader on holiday or something like that. But the way Dom’s going there’s going to be a lot of SpAds on the market.”


The former SpAd said that when Cameron resigned his first thought was for SpAds losing their jobs. “He said, ‘I will personally find you a job, share contacts’ etc. He followed through on that and no one was totally screwed. He later joked that he’d made an industry in Brexit.”


Former PM Theresa May’s SpAd Jimmy McLoughlin described reshuffles as “brutally efficient” in a recent blog post giving advice to SpAds leaving government.


“You’ll have about 15 minutes to pack up your belongings,” he wrote. “Somebody will pass you an envelope, ‘gosh’ you’ll think, ‘a leaving card, they got that organised quickly.’ Although it is not a card, it’s your P45. Somebody will tweet, ‘spare a thought for the special advisers’, but that is about the extent of public sympathy.”


The Londoner spoke to a number of political communications firms, including Portland and Ranelagh. They indicated they were interested in recruiting SpAds and said communications could be a pleasantly stable job after frontline politics. A spokesperson for Freuds, which recently hired Laura Round, ex-SpAd to former Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt, said that previous careers in politics could give partners “a well-informed world view which helps us better advise our global clients”.


But Ranelagh told us that it wouldn’t necessarily influence your job application either way. “We wouldn’t put someone at the top of the list because they’d been a SpAd but by the same token we wouldn’t reject them because they’d been a SpAd.” Not so special now.

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© 2019 Emily Prescott.