Nimco Ali with Carrie Symonds (Twitter/Carrie Symonds)

The First Friend

How the taxpayer funds Nimco Ali


A Freedom of Information request seen by The Critic reveals a close friend of the Prime Minister’s fiancée was appointed to an official paid advisory role without any competitive application process, which was seemingly created for her.

The Home Office announced on 9 October that Priti Patel had appointed 38-year-old Nimco Ali, who had previously sought to be the Tory mayoral candidate in London, to the role of “independent adviser for tackling violence against women and girls” in order to “help shape our strategy to better target perpetrators and support victims of these crimes”.

But in response to an FOI request the ‘Interpersonal Violence Unit’ in the Home Office revealed Ms Ali’s appointment was via “a direct appointment process” which was “made without open competition” or the job even being advertised. There is no mention of the role existing prior to the announcement and a Home Office Press release at the time clarified the job would be separate to the work of the Domestic Abuse Commissioner.

In response to the FOI release the Home Office said it was “appropriate for short-term advisory roles, for example to lead a government review or to champion a specific subject area. As this is a direct appointment, the role was not advertised and was not offered to anyone other than Ms Ali.”

The FOI also revealed that Ms Ali is entitled to receive £350 a day and is expected to work “up to” two days per month on the role of Independent Government Adviser on Preventing Violence Against Women and Girls.  This means Ali could receive £8400 per year for 28 days work, or around £77,000 pro rata.

At the end of 2019 the Somali-born campaigner launched a “global” project to end the practice of Female Genital Mutilation by 2030 called “The Five Foundation, The Global Partnership to End FGM.” Recent records from Companies House suggest that Ali’s company, The Five Foundation, has net assets of less than £300. Ali is listed as both the secretary and  a director of the company; no other people are listed in the latest tax filing.

It’s unclear where the initiative to create the post, then not advertise it or put it out to open competition, came from.

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