Lord Strathclyde is Leader of the House of Lords and a member of the Cabinet. He is paid £101,038. Two of the Prime Minister’s Special Advisors (Andy Coulson and Edward Llewellyn) are paid more than he is (they get £140,000 and £125,000 respectively).
Lord McNally is Deputy Leader of the House of Lords, Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords and Minister of State in the Ministry of Justice. He is paid £78,891. No less than nine of the Prime Minister’s Special Advisors are paid more than he is and – particularly humiliating – three of the Deputy Prime Minister’s Special Advisors are paid more as well.
The other Lords’ Ministers – or at least those that are paid and not donating their services for free – are also receiving less than twelve of the Special Advisors in the offices of the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister. And most of them are paid less than four other Departmental Special Advisors.
They must feel really valued compared with the cronies/Special Advisors (who – unlike Ministers – aren’t actually responsible for anything and don’t actually make decisions just provide political advice or act as spin doctors for their masters).
Of course, David Cameron is the first Prime Minister ever to have worked as a Special Advisor before they became an MP.