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PM photographer off public payroll

David Cameron's photographer and website producer are to be taken off the Civil Service payroll, it has been disclosed.

Government sources confirmed that Andrew Parsons, who was Mr Cameron's photographer when the Tories were in opposition, and Nicky Woodhouse, the woman behind his WebCameron website, would now be paid by the Conservative Party.

A row erupted when it was disclosed that Mr Parsons and Ms Woodhouse were being paid by the taxpayer at a time when the Civil Service was facing swingeing cuts.

It was originally argued that they would not just be working for the Prime Minister in Downing Street but would have a cross-departmental role across Whitehall.

However, Mr Cameron was said to have accepted that their appointments sent out the "wrong signal" at a difficult time for public services.

They will now carry what was described as a "restricted" political role working for Conservative headquarters. Neither will be replaced in government.

Labour MP Michael Dugher said Mr Cameron had bowed to public pressure over Mr Parsons and Ms Woodhouse, who was employed by the Government as a film-maker.

"I welcome the Prime Minister bowing down to public pressure," he said.

"The Prime Minister should have known from the start that it's wrong to bill the taxpayer for his vanity photographer.

"But today's flip-flop raises more questions. If it's wrong to charge taxpayers for Andrew Parsons or Nicky Woodhouse then why are so many other Conservative Party workers being hired via this sharp practice as so-called civil servants?"


From Belfast Telegraph