Sadiq Khan puts his own salary back up to £152,734 a year
Sadiq Khan puts his own salary back up to £152,734 a year after taking 10 per cent Covid cut (and he’s off to Wembley to watch the match tonight too)
- The London Mayor upped his six-figure salary after getting re-elected in May
- Came a year after he reduced his take-home amid cuts to London’s vital services
- Increase in pay came hours before Mayor heads to Wembley to watch football
- England will take on Scotland in a Euro 2020 clash at the stadium tonight
- Find out the latest Euro 2020 news including fixtures, live action and results here
Sadiq Khan has put his salary back up to £152,734 a year after taking a 10 per cent Covid-19 pay cut in 2020.
The London Mayor upped his six-figure salary after being re-elected in May.
It came almost exactly a year after he reduced his take-home amid wide-spread cuts to London’s vital services during the pandemic.
It marks a good day for the Mayor, who plans to head Wembley to watch England’s Euro 2020 match against Scotland tonight.
News of the increase follows reports that Mr Khan’s public relations budget to manage his image soared to more than £1million between 2020 to 2021.
This meant his press office costs have officially spiked by 50 per cent since he took on the role in 2016.
Sadiq Khan has put his salary back up to £152,734 a year after taking a 10 per cent Covid-19 pay cut in 2020
Mr Khan’s voluntary pay cut in 2020 came alongside a salary freeze for his 15 direct appointments amid an ‘unprecedented financial black hole’ caused by the pandemic in June 2020.
He maintained his reduced salary for the last year of his first term as mayor.
Today’s salary increase – reported by the Evening Standard – came as the capital’s businesses began to open up again as lockdown lifted, meaning business rates and council tax income can increase.
Mr Khan has been a staunch supporter of lockdowns, and has urged the Government to make Covid rules harsher to slow the spread of the virus.
Scotland football fans climb the William Shakespeare fountain in Leicester Square, central London ahead of the Uefa clash today
Scotland football fans play in foam by the William Shakespeare fountain in Leicester Square ahead of the Uefa clash
The Mayor will watch tonight’s highly anticipated match after pleading with ticketless supporters to ‘enjoy the game from Scotland’.
He previously said fans would provide a needed boost to London’s hard-hit hospitality sector.
His warnings that the influx of people would cause a ‘serious risk’ of spreading Covid-19 prompted pubs to cancel bookings, while London Ambulance Service admitted it had no plans to have an increased amount of medics on standby as a mass party broke out in Hyde Park.
A spokesperson for the Mayor of London said: ‘The Mayor has always prioritised protecting frontline services during this pandemic and in June 2020 he volunteered to take a temporary ten per cent salary cut for an initial six months after it became clear that the Greater London Authority would need to make significant savings.
‘The Mayor also froze the pay of his Mayoral appointees during this period.’
The leader of the Greater London Authority Conservatives this week slammed reports that Mr Khan’s public relations budget has hit the £1million-a-year mark as ‘frankly shameful.
Susan Hall said the staggering amount ‘showed he put self-promotion before Londoners’ priorities’.
The TaxPayers’ Alliance added those in the capital would be ‘maddened’ by the spending during the pandemic.
But the Mayor stood firm, saying he ‘makes no apology for engaging with the media to keep Londoners informed’.
The London Mayor (pictured) upped his six-figure salary after getting re-elected in May
It comes just months after he was criticised for demanding more money from the Government after receiving billions in bailouts only last year.
Mr Khan splashed out £1,097,285 on public relations in 2020/21 compared to £732,537 in 2015/16, City Hall figures show.
The Mayor’s overall office costs also increased dramatically from £3.8million in 2015/16 to £6million in 2020/21 – up 60 per cent.
GLA Conservatives’ Leader Ms Hall said the ‘ever-rising PR bill’ for Mr Khan’s press team and office showed he put self-promotion before Londoners’ priorities.
Ms Hall said Londoners would be ‘amazed’ the Mayor found yet more money for his press team while ‘pleading poverty’.
She said: ‘It’s frankly shameful that Sadiq Khan has splashed so much money on his press team while pleading poverty when it comes to Londoners’ priorities.
‘Londoners will be amazed that the Mayor could increase his PR bill to more than £1 million considering how often he complains he is broke.
‘The irony won’t be lost on people that Khan is wasting cash on an extortionate press team to complain how broke he is.
‘Khan constantly claims that he can’t afford to invest in housing, policing and transport in London despite his £19.4 billion budget.
‘But there is never a cash shortage when it comes to his ever-rising PR and office bill.
‘I hope the Mayor will keep his press office costs under control during his second term. But, I doubt it.’
Joe Ventre, digital campaign manager of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, told MailOnline: ‘Londoners will be maddened by the mayor’s spiralling PR spend.
‘While taxpayers in the capital faced down the pandemic and a series of torrid rate rises, City Hall loosened the purse strings for publicity.
‘It’s high time for Khan to clamp down on these surging spin costs, prioritise frontline services, and deliver hard-pressed households some much-needed savings.’
Earlier this year Mr Khan was criticised for demanding more money from the Government after receiving billions in bailouts only last year.
The Mayor of London had lobbied Rishi Sunak to turn on the spending taps in the March Budget – and produced his own wish-list for the Chancellor.
He was seeking another financial package for Transport for London and a cash injection to revive the capital’s hard-hit nighttime economy.
An extension to the business rates holiday and for furlough to continue until lockdown was eased were also on his list of proposals.
His demands were quickly shot down by the then Conservative mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey, who accused him of pouring millions into City Hall’s PR machine.
The Mayor of London spent an eye-watering sum on managing his image from 2020 to 2021. Pictured: Mr Khan with CEO of the Heart of London Business Alliance Ros Morgan
Last month Mr Khan vowed to ‘build bridges’ with Boris Johnson’s government after winning a second term as Mayor.
The Labour incumbent is serving a truncated three-year term after winning the election that was postponed from last year due to the pandemic.
But he was pushed all the way by Mr Bailey, who had been given little hope of getting anywhere close to him.
On the latest figures, the Mayor of London office said: ‘As Mayor of one of the largest cities in the world, Sadiq makes no apology for engaging with the media in order to keep Londoners informed about key decisions that impact their lives.
‘This has never been more important than during the current pandemic, during which the Mayor has worked closely with the media to advise Londoners of crucial public health information that has helped to stop the spread of the virus, encourage vaccination take-up and protect lives.
‘In addition to the annual cost of inflation, two fixed-term press officer roles were created in 2017 in response to significantly increased workload and responsibilities and the need to strengthen the team’s ability to respond to a major incident, following the terror attacks on London and the Grenfell fire.’
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