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Mark Drakeford MS, First Minister

First published:
4 August 2022
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.

There were 17 Special Advisers in post for all or part of the 2021/22 financial year, equating to 11 average full-time equivalents, as set out in the table below:


Alex Bevan

Madeleine Brindley

Steffan Bryn (appointed 17/01/22)

Daniel Butler ** 

Ian Butler **

David Davies † (appointed 08/09/21)

Kate Edmunds

Sara Faye

Clare Jenkins *

Owen John (appointed 25/10/21)

Andrew Johnson

Colin Nosworthy ** (appointed 14/02/22)

Andy Pithouse ** (last day of service 06/05/21)

Jane Runeckles *

Mitchell Theaker

Gareth Williams ** (last day of service 05/05/21)

Tom Woodward

* Senior Special Adviser pay band

** Part time

† On-call fee paid Special Adviser

The pay bill cost for the period 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022 totalled £1,018,341. This includes salary, employers’ national insurance contributions and pension contributions.

In addition, due to the Senedd election on 6 May 2021 the contracts for all Special Advisers ceased and severance payments of £227,407 were made in line with the terms of the Model Contract for Special Advisers. Severance payments are recovered from Special Advisers reappointed by the First Minister after the election, in line with the terms of the Model Contract for Special Advisers.

Special Adviser Pay Bands

Welsh Government Special Advisers are appointed in accordance with the standard Special Adviser pay band or the Senior Special Adviser pay band. These pay bands are:

Standard Special Adviser pay band: £52,875 - £69,326

Senior Special Adviser pay band: £71,000 - £78,460

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.