Eric Pickles BBC The East Anglian Daily Times revealed this morning that Conservative-controlled Suffolk County Council is employing a temporary spin doctor on a pay scale higher than that of the Prime Minister.

The interim head of communications at the council will be paid between £2,000 and £3,500 a week.

Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles is none too impressed. He told ConservativeHome:

"We are calling time on this reckless attitude to spending taxpayers' cash on super salaries. Local government must wake up and realise the gravy train is on borrowed time.

"The days of taking the taxpayer for a ride are over. We must deliver value for money and I believe our plans to throw open the books of councils will put an end to wasteful spending. There may well be a compelling case for this salary but so far it hasn’t been made."

Jonathan Isaby