HR rules to be overhauled for Tory aides in fightback against Dominic Cummings

Tory aides' HR rules face a major overhaul as the civil service appears to launch a fightback against Boris Johnson's top aide Dominic Cummings.

Policies for Special Advisers – a group of around 100 taxpayer-funded Tory political aides – will be reviewed by a new £60,000-a-year official to ensure they're "fit for purpose".

The 'Special Advisers HR Policy Lead' will have a "high-profile and stretching role" and have to provide advice to the office of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, according to an ad on the government's website.

The new hire will have to "revise and embed a full suite of HR policies", ensure the Code of Conduct is followed and manage "complex and sensitive" cases.

It comes six months after Sonia Khan, an aide to Chancellor Sajid Javid, was marched out of Downing Street by armed police after being sacked on the spot by PM's aide Mr Cummings. She is thought to have launched an unfair dismissal claim.

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Mr Javid then quit as Chancellor when Boris Johnson demanded he ditch the rest of his aides.

Special Advisers are paid up to six-figure sums but have repeatedly spoken out against Mr Cummings, who is said to have told them "I'll see half of you next week" before the Cabinet reshuffle.

After being confronted over the remarks, he is said to have said people suffering from personal issues such as stress or bereavement shouldn't be doing a job at the heart of government.

The job advert was revealed by BuzzFeed News, which reported it was created in respomnse to high-level concerns within the civil service about how Spads are treated.

According to BuzzFeed, there are fears the PM's team may have broken employment law.

Applications close on Wednesday for the role, which pays £52,500 to £60,635 and would be based in the Propriety and Ethics team in the Cabinet Office – which leads investigations into breaches of the Code.

The expert would "provide appropriate HR support and advice" to Spads and "drive continuous improvements".

In perhaps a nod to the culture in Whitehall, the job description says ominously: "You [will] have inner composure and recover quickly from setbacks."

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