The Daily Telegraph

Ousted comms chief will keep his job despite being replaced

- By Charles Hymas Home affairs editor

THE head of the Government’s spin machine is being retained in his £140,000-a-year job despite his replacemen­t by a new boss on the same salary.

Alex Aiken, executive director of the Government Communicat­ion Service (GCS), has been ousted as the man in charge of the organisati­on by a “chief executive”, a new post to be filled by another civil servant, Simon Baugh.

It comes despite efforts to reduce the headcount of the 4,500-strong communicat­ion service, which was last week criticised by Lee Cain, Boris Johnson’s former director of communicat­ions. He called for a drastic reduction in staff numbers.

A source said: “Nobody actually gets sacked as a civil servant. They just keep the salary. It’s a disgrace and an utter waste of taxpayers’ money.”

The GCS is supposed to be in the process of being cut down to size in an internal Cabinet Office project led by Moorhouse Consulting.

Announcing the creation of the new role, Alex Chisholm, permanent secretary at the Cabinet Office, said he was “pleased” Mr Aiken would continue as executive director.

One insider said: “The new job title was just an excuse to oust Aiken, except he’s still hanging on by his fingertips.”

A Cabinet Office spokesman said the new chief executive post was designed to “strengthen” leadership capabiliti­es. “Alex Aiken will continue to serve as an Executive Director, tackling priority issues in government communicat­ions,” they said.

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