Spending on quangos such as Monitor and the Health Protection Agency has increased by almost £10bn under Gordon Brown, the Cabinet Office revealed yesterday.

Under Mr Brown, the government spent £46.5bn on quangos in 2008-09 - up from £37bn in 2006-07 when Tony Blair handed over power to the new prime minister.

The survey of non-departmental public bodies was published unannounced on the Cabinet Office website yesterday. It shows that the number of quangos fell from 827 to 766 between 2007 and 2009, while the number of employees rose from 95,000 to 110,000.  

Shadow Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude said his party would ensure greater transparency and accountability over the funding of non-governmental organisations that use taxpayers’ money.

He said: “This whole tier of bureaucracy lacks proper accountability and transparency over how they spend our money.

“Conservatives would require all public bodies to publish more information on their expenditure, transfer powers from unelected bodies to local communities, and make administrative savings whilst protecting frontline services like hospitals.”