Andy Coulson tops list as Downing Street pay packets revealed

David Cameron's communications director Andy Coulson is being paid £50,000 more than the PM's influential strategy chief Steve Hilton.

High roller: Andy Coulson
High roller: Andy Coulson

With an annual salary of £140,000 a year, Coulson tops the list of Downing Street special advisers whose names and pay have been released by the coalition.

However, Coulson still earns considerably less than when he was editor of the News of the World.

The total number of special advisers in Government has dropped from 78 at the end of March this year to 68.

The second best paid in Downing Street is the PM's chief-of-staff Edward Llewellyn, on £125,000. Third-highest paid is Kate Fall, the prime minister's senior adviser, who gets £100,000.

Hilton is paid £90,000 and the PM's press aide Gabby Bertin is on £80,000.

The ceiling for special advisers' pay is £142,668, ensuring they do not earn more than the PM. Their gifts and hospitality will be published every quarter.

The best-paid Lib Dem adviser in Downing Street is Jonny Oates, the former Bell Pottinger consultant who was head of general election communications for the Lib Dems.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg's press secretary Lena Pietsch is awarded £80,000.

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