A professional photoshoot of Boris Johnson’s dog Dilyn frolicking in the February snow has raised questions after it emerged that No.10 now has three taxpayer-funded photographers on call.
In the photos, Dilyn can be seen capering around a snowy garden and playing with a stick, looking adorable but hardly essential to the smooth running of government.
Pippa Fowles, the civil service photographer behind the camera for Dilyn’s glamour shoot is a Ministry of Defence employee who has been on secondment to the Prime Minister’s staff since early 2020.
She is also understood to have taken numerous portraits of the PM, including a session showing him enjoying archery lessons at a school.
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The Daily Mirror revealed that the government took on a third member of staff too look after promotional duties on an annual salary believed to be in the region of £60,635.
He’s already taken a number of official government photos including a candid snap of Larry, the Number 10 cat sitting on a sideboard beneath a picture of the Queen.
This third photographer will work alongside Andrew Parsons, a long-time Tory party insider who works part-time on a salary equivalent to £100,000 a year.
This news comes despite the PM already employing a personal photographer, Andrew Parsons, as a part-time Special Advisor on the equivalent of £100,000 a year.
The government insists that photography, and social media in general, are a key part of modern politics.
A Government spokesperson said: “We have recruited a photographer to capture and share the Government’s work, including on vaccinations and the wider fight against Coronavirus."
“As detailed in the public job advert, the chief photographer role is a cross-government resource.
“Social media and digital engagement are critical communications tools, and the position will also play a leading role in supporting departmental digital communications activity.”
Danielle Boxall, media campaign manager at the TaxPayers' Alliance, told the Daily Star: "Number 10 must be barking mad if they think taxpayers will be happy funding photos of the PM's dog.
"Budgets are tight, so if these costs do end up being paid for by the public purse, it'll seem that Downing Street isn't getting the picture.
"Politicians' personal shoots should be funded from their own coffers."
Do you think employing three separate photographers to follow the PM's activities is a good use of taxpayers' money? Let us know in the comments below
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