Aberdeen council spin doctor given ‘eye-watering’ £63,000 pay-off after only two-and-a-half years in post

A former Aberdeen City Council spin doctor received a pay-off of more than £63,000, the Evening Express can reveal today.

Figures show Takki Sulaiman, the local authority’s former head of communications and promotion, received a total of £63,488 in compensation after losing his job in May 2017.

He had been in the post for two-and-a-half years.

The figures, released by the Taxpayers Alliance, also show Mr Sulaiman – who was known as the “happiness tsar” – received a salary of £80,697 for the 2016/17 financial year – a total cost to the taxpayer of £144,185, excluding pension contributions.

Full list of staff members at North-east councils receiving remuneration of more than £100,000 in 2016/17

John O’Connell, chief executive of the Taxpayers Alliance, said: “Aberdeen taxpayers should be furious at Mr Sulaiman’s £63,000 pay-off, equivalent to almost 80% of his salary in 2016-17.

“Local authorities do not need an army of overpaid press officers.

“Aberdeen City Council should spend taxpayers’ money on residents, not massaging their image.”

The former Labour councillor worked in communications for the scandal-hit Tower Hamlets Council in London before being announced as the preferred candidate for the Granite City job in November 2014.

At the time the appointment was criticised by opposition SNP and Liberal Democrats over Mr Sulaiman’s previous role as a Labour councillor for Haringey.

Then-SNP group leader Callum McCaig called for the appointment process to be halted pending an inquiry, claiming Mr Sulaiman’s CV did not mention the Labour role and members of the panel that gave him the job were not informed.

The then-finance convener, Labour’s Willie Young, insisted the authority’s human resources team had been told.

Stephen Flynn

Current SNP group leader Stephen Flynn today hit out at the pay-off.

He said: “The administration were told that the council did not need a spin doctor but they pushed ahead and the cost, borne by the …read more

Source:: Evening Express – All articles

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