The controversial new Principal of Edinburgh is being given a 33 per cent wage increase and a £410,000 ‘welcome package’

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The new Principal of Edinburgh University, Peter Mathieson, is to be paid a basic salary of £342,000 a year, a 33 per cent increase from the wage paid to his predecessor Timothy O'Shea.

On top of his wage, he is to be paid £42,000 'in lieu of pension contributions', £26,000 in relocation costs and an eye-watering £410,000 'welcome package'.

Mathieson was a reasonably controversial appointment after his stint as Principal at the University of Hong Kong was tainted by his comparison of a student protest to the Hillsborough disaster, his siding with the Chinese state against his own students and threatening to take action against whistleblowers.

The announcement of his income comes at a time when university staff are planning to strike for four weeks against proposed plans to change their pension schemes. Given their current struggle, they're unlikely to look too kindly at their Principal's sizeable pay rise.