Bradshaw – Scandal of £231 a minute on Brexit consultants in April alone - People's Vote

Bradshaw – Scandal of £231 a minute on Brexit consultants in April alone

Government spending on Brexit consultancy surged to an eye-watering £231 a minute in the month of April 2019, new research from the People’s Vote campaign shows. 

The revelation comes as Parliament’s independent public spending watchdog, the National Audit Office, condemns a lack of transparency in the £91 million spent by Government departments between the June 2016 referendum and the end of March 2019.

The research from the People’s Vote campaign shows that spending in the new financial year – which began in April – rocketed, with the Cabinet Office splurging a shocking £231 a minute – over £10m - on Brexit consultancy in that month.


Commenting, Ben Bradshaw MP, former health minister and leading supporter of the People’s Vote campaign said:

“This level of spending on consultants on Brexit is scandalous. Our schools are struggling, our hospitals understaffed, even the Home Secretary admitted at the weekend we don’t have enough police, yet ministers are splashing the cash on consultants at an accelerating rate.

“We could have got a newly qualified nurse for a year for every two hours of consultancy spending in April.

“And unless we settle the crisis the spending will go on and on, well into the next decade as battle after battle over what Brexit means and how it should happen just goes on and on.

“Now we know what the Brexit mess is costing us, it’s only fair and democratic that the people are asked to give the final say on whether it should go ahead.”



Notes to editors: Cabinet Office Spends £10 million on Private Brexit Help in 1 Month

Figures show that the Cabinet Office spent more than £10 million on a combination of Brexit consultancy and communications in April. A total of £10,421,647.54 was forked out in a total of 85 payments to 7 firms as civil servants scramble to prepare the UK for the new Brexit deadline at the end of October.

Researchers from the People’s Vote Campaign looked only at Cabinet Office Spending in April which was marked as either part of its “GOV COMMS EU EXIT PROG” or it’s “CENTRAL EU EXIT CONSULTANCY (PROG).” One payment was excluded because it was made to another government department – the department for business, energy and industrial strategy.

The biggest beneficiaries were Manning Gottlieb, the UK arm of global media communications agency OMD. They received more than £5 million as part of the Government Brexit communications programme. Media agency Wavemaker and Engine Partners UK were also hired to conduct communications on behalf of the government.

Outside of communications, the big winners were the PA Consulting Group, who made £2.4 million in fees from Brexit related consultancy work, part of an ongoing multimillion Brexit consultancy programme. Bain & Company, Boston Consulting Group and Mott Macdonald also did consultancy work for the Cabinet Office in April. In total consultancy firms received just over £4 million between them.


Total: £10,421,647.54

Consulting Total: £4,189,182.12

Communications Total: £6,232,465.42


By Firm:


















Source for Cabinet Office Spending: LINK