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Mark Drakeford MS, First Minister

First published:
29 July 2021
Last updated:

Special Advisers add a political dimension to the advice and assistance available to Ministers while reinforcing the political impartiality of the permanent Civil Service by distinguishing the source of political advice and support.

They are appointed by the First Minister to help Ministers on matters where the work of Government and the work of the Government Party overlap and where it would be inappropriate for permanent civil servants to become involved. They are an additional resource for the Minister providing assistance from a standpoint that is more politically committed and politically aware than would be available to a Minister from the permanent Civil Service.

There were 14 Special Advisers in post for the 2020/21 financial year, equating to 12 average full-time equivalents, as set out in the table below:

Special Adviser

Pay Band

Clare Jenkins [1]


Jane Runeckles


Gareth Williams


Madeleine Brindley


Kate Edmunds


Andrew Johnson


Tom Woodward


Alex Bevan


Daniel Butler * 


Ian Butler *


Sara Faye [2]


Paul Griffiths *


Andy Pithouse *


Mitchell Theaker [3]


* Part time

The pay bill cost for the period 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021 totalled £1,100,923. This includes salary, employers’ national insurance contributions and pension contributions.

[1] Secondee

[2] Part time up to 08/06/20. Full time from 09/06/20

[3] Part time up to 30/09/20. Full time from 01/10/20

Special Adviser Pay Bands

In the table above each Welsh Government Special Adviser’s salary has been assigned as a proxy to a UK Government Special Adviser pay band according to their current salary. This is provided as a comparison for the purposes of this report only. The latest UK Government Special Adviser pay bands are:

PB1 - £40,500 - £60,500

PB2 - £57,000 - £80,000

PB3 - £73,000 - £102,000

PB4 - £96,000 - £145,000

This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Senedd returns I would be happy to do so.