West Bromwich MP Tom Watson has demanded an explanation for Prime Minister David Cameron’s decision to hire an “official photographer” while public services across the country are being forced to make spending cuts.
Mr Watson (Lab West Bromwich East) has asked why Andrew Parsons - a photographer who previously worked for the Conservative Party - is now employed as a civil servant.
And it has emerged that the Government has also employed a website manager who previously worked for the Conservative Party, at the taxpayer’s expense.
Nicky Woodhouse, who produced online videos for the Tories, is now working for the Government. She was responsible for the “Webcameron” videos which showcased Mr Cameron speaking to voters or in his family home, while the party was in opposition.
Mr Watson has written to Gus O’Donnell, the Cabinet Secretary, asking who exactly took the decision to appoint Mr Parsons, who is believed ot be paid around £35,000.
The MP also asked how long the position of official photographer has been in existence.
Downing Street insists both posts are designed to provide services for the entire cabinet, and not David Cameron in particular.
In the long run, they may save money by ending the need to employ different people in each department, according to Downing Street.
David Cameron came under fire from Labour leader Ed Miliband over the appointment. Mr Miliband joked: “Apparently he does a nice line in airbrushing.”
The Prime Minister did not directly respond but pointed out that Labour spent £500,000 on Government communications.