Whitehall Wars: Flak for Sir Humphrey’s Mouthpiece

Yesterday’s column by Sue Cameron has gone down pretty badly with more radical elements of the government. The Telegraph commentator, known for her pro-civil service outlook, essentially accused the Tories of imagining that the mandarins are all against them. One Whitehall source raged to Guido last night:

“Sue Cameron says “the idea that officials are blocking reform” is “patent nonsense” wondering whether these are “imagined” failings. Yet with no sense of irony at all, she misquotes Jeremy Heywood (who is known to be supportive of giving ministers a greater say in Permanent Secretary appointments) to (falsely) claim he will “block such a move”. Ms Cameron suggests Sir Jeremy will use a “policy of ‘masterly inactivity’” – but wouldn’t that be exactly the sort of blocking or treading water that ministers like Maude have been complaining about?”

They have a point…

UPDATE: Westminster wag adds “It’s unfair to describe her as Jeremy Heywood’s mouthpiece; she takes briefings against him, but only from Sir Gus.”



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Tim Shipman to Adam Boulton on the TV debates…

“If Cameron gets in a car to go to the debate, Lynton Crosby will stage a car crash.”

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