Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Jacob Rees-Mogg questioned on why he needs ‘four’ aides to help with interview

Jacob Rees-Mogg is said to have turned up to a broadcast interview with as many as four aides in tow (Stefan Rousseau/PA)
Jacob Rees-Mogg is said to have turned up to a broadcast interview with as many as four aides in tow (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Jacob Rees-Mogg found himself in hot water as he faced questions about why he had turned up with possibly as many as four advisers to interviews defending civil service job cuts.

The Brexit opportunities and Government efficiency minister toured the broadcast studios on Friday to argue in favour of Boris Johnson’s plan of slashing around 90,000 Whitehall jobs in a bid to save taxpayers’ money.

The Cabinet minister said the cuts were designed to bring numbers “back to normal” levels after extra staff were brought in to help deal with the Covid-19 pandemic and the impact of Brexit in 2016.

During his appearance on Sky News, Mr Rees-Mogg was asked whether he might consider slimming down his own operation after bringing “three, four” aides with him for the interview.

But the former Commons leader defended the size of his support team, arguing that he has a “very wide area of public policy” within his brief.

Presenter Niall Paterson asked the minister: “How many advisers did you arrive with this morning?

“Because it looked like more than two. Three, four?”

Mr Rees-Mogg replied: “Yes, they don’t all work directly for me.

“They work within the Cabinet Office.

Jacob Rees-Mogg defended the Prime Minister wanting to cut 90,000 civil service roles
Jacob Rees-Mogg defended the Prime Minister wanting to cut 90,000 civil service roles (Victoria Jones/PA)

“Two work within the Cabinet Office and two are my special advisers.”

Mr Paterson followed up, asking: “Do you perhaps detect an opportunity for some efficiency savings there?”

The minister said: “I cover a very wide area of public policy, but there should be efficiency throughout the civil service.”

The Prime Minister is reportedly in favour of taking an axe to the number of employees on the Government payroll in a bid to save billions of pounds.

Mr Johnson is said to want to use the savings to hand out tax cuts to households struggling during the current cost of living crisis.

As well as defending the cutback plan, Mr Rees-Mogg is on a separate drive to encourage civil servants back to the office after more than two years of hybrid and home working during the coronavirus pandemic.

He told Sky there “is a place for working from home” but said public services had at times been negatively impacted by remote working, giving the examples of long waits for new passports and driver licences.