Rhiannon Padley

Secretary of state for Work and Pensions

Special adviser to Thérèse Coffey

Although Thérèse Coffey has notably not hosted a single one of the Downing Street press conferences on coronavirus, her long stint at the Department for Work and Pensions remains a star in the minister’s cap and a clear sign of respect from the prime minister. Coffey’s impressive run is in large part thanks to the work of Rhiannon Padley, her special adviser. Padley first entered Westminster politics as a caseworker for Philip Davies and later Priti Patel, after which she took a two-year break to work in consultancy. Padley returned to Whitehall in October 2019, one month after Coffey took her cabinet position.