‘Not taking tackling gender pay gap seriously’: No 10 accused over £15,000 gender pay gap for top communications role

Posted On: 
15th December 2017

The Government has been accused of not taking steps to tackle the gender pay gap after it emerged the new male Director of Communications is paid £15,000 more than his female predecessor.

Katie Perrior left her role earlier this year

Katie Perrior was paid £125,000, while her replacement Robbie Gibb is being paid £140,000, according to a list of salaries for special advisers and other senior government staff. 

Ms Perrior quit her job when the snap election was called, she then launched a number of sustained attacks on Theresa May’s former chiefs of staff Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill, calling them "rude, abusive and childish".

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The other two people to hold the position of Director of Communications since 2010, Andy Coulson and Craig Oliver, were also paid £140,000.

Since taking office, Mrs May has launched a fresh push to tackle the gender pay gap, including calling on small companies to publish their gender pay and bonus data. 

Sophie Walker, the head of the Women and Equalities party, attacked Mrs May for her paying Ms Perrior less than she paid others to do the same job.

She said it was “proof that the Government is not serious about tackling the gender pay gap and the imbalance of power between men and women”.

“You couldn’t make it up. Having pressed the BBC to publish its own pay gap, Theresa May has now imported that inequality into Downing Street,” she added.

“The prioritisation of men at the cost of women is mirrored in the Prime Minister’s ongoing support for Damian Green, who continues to be at her right hand despite being investigated for sexual harassment.

“Companies told that they must publish their own pay gap before April will be looking at the government today and think ‘why bother?’”

A Downing Street spokesman said: “We strive to set pay at appropriate levels and it is based on a range of factors, including the recipients’ previous salary.”