Special advisors for “friendly little piglets”

Thanks to a slow news day, and an archive, I was able to note the BBC’s Martina Purdy’s post on how party political opinions of the positions of junior ministers, to the First and Deputy First Ministers, have changed in a short period of time.. Now it appears that the positions are deemed to be so important, and/or complicated, that the current incumbents need a special advisor each. The key element in the story, along with the new salaries, is that the appointments of special advisors to those junior ministers required a change in legislation.. which was achieved at a Privy Council meeting – According to the BBC report it was at this particular meeting on 25 July [word doc] attended by Rt Hon Baroness Ashton of Upholland (Lord President), Rt Hon Jack Straw MP, Rt Hon Ed Balls MP, and Rt Hon Dawn Primarolo MP. Update According to this Belfast Telegraph report there are now 16 special advisors to the Executive.. and, following the new appointments, 8 of the 16 are attached to the Office of the First and Deputy First Ministers.Adds From the BBC report, those new special advisors are..

Ex-Sinn Fein press officer Mark McLernon is working for junior minister Gerry Kelly, while Victoria Taylor is advising Ian Paisley Jr.