A FORMER government adviser has caused outrage after publishing a sneering remark about potential recruits having to live in Darlington.

Ben Ramanauskas, a former International Trade adviser, tweeted how the £60,000 salary for an advertised top government job was “ridiculous” due to its importance.

The Head of Labour Market and Unemployment policy role will be based in Darlington, but Mr Ramanauskas said it was “not great money for an important job” before adding “and the person would have to live in Darlington! Not going to get decent people applying.”

Darlington and Stockton Times: Fury over £60k Government job criticism - and belittling of DarlingtonFury over £60k Government job criticism - and belittling of Darlington

Northerners were quick to defend the region, however, with Darlington’s MP Peter Gibson declaring: “And in a single tweet you demonstrate exactly why moving jobs from London to places like Darlington is so important.”

Defending his controversial statement, Mr Ramanauskas said: “I think you could easily attract top quality candidates if the job was in a place like Leeds, Manc, Newcastle, Edinburgh etc, but definitely not somewhere like Darlington!

“And don't get me wrong, £60k is nice money and much higher than the national average, but if you're competing with consultancy firms and banks etc for talent, the government isn't going to attract those people especially if they also have to live in Darlington!

“It's also not meant as an insult to Darlington (I'm sure it's perfectly pleasant). It's just OBVIOUSLY not as an attractive place to live as London, Manchester etc.”


But in a reply to one Twitter user Mr Ramanauskas further insulted Darlington residents, shockingly claiming “there is nothing there”.

When the user asked “why won’t you get decent people applying in Darlington?” he replied: “Because there is nothing there, most people will have no links to it, all their uni peers/friends will be moving to London etc.”

Hundreds of other users criticised the original tweet, too. One user said: “One tweet that encapsulates the vacant arrogance of London and exactly why towns like Darlington, and hundreds of others, need "important jobs". If you ever wondered why Brexit happened, this is your answer.”

While another said: “I don't know it, but what's wrong with Darlington? I presume that Netflix, Ocado and Amazon work there? And they have supermarkets and cinemas. 30 minutes to Newcastle when you want any culture. And £60K will buy a lot of property.”