HC Deb 21 April 1999 vol 329 c897
13. Mr. Bob Russell (Colchester)

How many political advisers have been appointed by Government Departments since 1 May 1979; how many have left; and how many are employed. [80304]

The Minister for the Cabinet Office (Dr. Jack Cunningham)

There are 67 special advisers in post. Since 1 May 1997, 28 special advisers have left the civil service, either as a result of resignation or because their contracts were terminated following ministerial changes.

Mr. Russell

Why do the Government need so many political advisers?

Dr. Cunningham

Because they provide a valuable service in helping us to answer questions like that.