A TORY minister has defended the UK Government’s decision to give Dominic Cummings a £40,000 pay rise this year.

Cummings, the Prime Minister’s most senior adviser, left Downing Street last month to work from home until mid-December following a power struggle in Number 10.

A report released yesterday showed the adviser was paid between £140,000 and £144,999 this year – a jump in salary as high as 51% as last year he was earning between £95,000 and £99,999.

One special adviser told The Times that the pay rise was “rank hypocrisy” as other Downing Street staff have seen raises of about 1%, if any, this year.

READ MORE: Dominic Cummings handed massive £50k pay rise after 2019 Tory election win

Overall Cummings’s pay was part of £10 million earned by Boris Johnson’s advisers in the last year.

Communities and Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick appeared on Sky News this morning and defended the adviser’s massive pay boost.

Presenter Niall Patterson asked: “What on earth is going in government that someone hired on £100,000 can get an extra £40,000 in their pay packet?"

Jenrick told the host: “Well Dominic Cummings has left the Government now, but I understand that his pay packet broadly in line with his predecessors, other people who have been former chief of staff to prime ministers."

Patterson pointed out it’s nearly what the Prime Minister makes.

Jenrick went on: "This is a significant amount of money obviously, but it is in line with a chief executive of a medium-sized local council.

"And the amount of money we spend on political advisers is very small by international standards. It is a very small portion of what we spend on the civil service.

"And I think they do a good job for us.”

Again pushed specifically on the £40,000 increase, Jenrick responded: "It is an important function, it ensures we are delivering on our promises at general elections and it ensures the political impartiality of the civil service.

"So I think special advisers play an important role in our political process but I completely understand that ensuring pay restraint amongst our politicians is going to very important at a time when people in the private sector are finding their wages squeezed."

The National:

Yesterday’s report detailed the pay of a number of advisers including former Tory MP for Ochil and South Perthshire, Luke Graham.

Graham, now the head of Downing Street’s “Union Unit”, earns between £90,000 and £94,999 a year. 

Meanwhile Allegra Stratton, the recent hire to be the face of Downing Street's communications, is in pay band 4. She earns between £125,000-£129,999 per annum.

The Prime Minister’s press secretary was asked about Cummings's pay boost later today and said: “This was a matter for the Cabinet Office special adviser pay committee, that’s where the decisions are taken.

“It’s the case that Dominic Cummings’ revised salary reflected the fact that up until his departure he was one of, if not the most, important special adviser.

“And the new salary he received was in line with the salary chiefs of staff and people of that rank receive. It was not that his new salary took him over and above what you would expect for the kind of role he performed.

“It’s the correct level of salary for the role that Dominic Cummings performed.”

It also revealed the Scotland Office has been expanded – Alister Jack has three special advisers while in 2016 the Scottish secretary had one.