At least 30 consultants worked in government departments last year on day rates of £1,000-£2,000, figures obtained by the BBC’s Newsnight show.

The Department for Transport took on 10 consultants, while the Ministry of Defence said it had recently employed someone earning up to £3,000 a day.

The government said it paid £317m to consultants last year, and spending on them had dropped by 75% since 2009.

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I am a journalist and author. I am a staff writer at the UK edition of WIRED magazine and in 2015 my book, Freedom of Information: A Practical Guide for UK Journalists, was published. I created FOI Directory in 2012.