Heywood Wins Zero Friends With Gushing Thatcher Tribute

A fawning tribute from the normally subdued double team at the top of the Civil Service. Writing in today’s Telegraph Sir Jeremy ‘Sherlock’ Heywood and Sir ‘Bungalow’ Bob Kerslake praise the “kindly and unswervingly loyal” Margaret Thatcher and declare that she was “prime minister who – whatever the pressures – was the best kind of boss.” The OpEd seems to have upset pretty much everyone.

While Tories are passing the sick bucket round and suggesting that this is nothing more than a PR move by the deeply unpopular Heywood to build some bridges; Labour types are equally concerned about the impartiality of the piece given the praise heaped on Maggie’s “radical tax reforms, the abandonment of exchange controls and prices and incomes policies, the introduction of Right to Buy, a major overhaul of industrial relations law and the world’s first privatisation programme.” Pretty much everything the left hated…

More seasoned Whitehall watchers have pointed out the subtle digs at Dave in the piece over Maggie’s apparently loyalty to those civil servant’s around her and her attention to detail – not two compliments you ever hear said about her successor. Ben Brogan, whose wife is a very senior Whitehall mandarin, sees digs at Francis Maude too. Perhaps they’re not so subtle. One Whitehall rager could not get their head round the logic of the “backroom boys” taking such a prominent and public stand: “If they want to be the story they should run for office…”




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Andrea Leadsom told BBC Radio 4’s Today

“He’s made his views on Brexit on the record, and the problem with that of course is that the chair’s impartiality is absolutely essential. … He’s made his views known on Brexit… it’s a matter for him but nevertheless it’s a challenge and all colleagues need to form their own view of that.”

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