Did Heywood Have Permission to Defend Remain Ally Robbins?

Worth watching Nick Watt’s profile of Theresa May’s Brexit supremo Olly Robbins, which draws on Guido’s story about his communist past and reveals David Davis regularly mocks his former Soviet sympathies. The film also carried a rare public statement from Cabinet Secretary Jeremy Heywood defending his Remain ally:

“The civil service is putting enormous effort and many of its very best people into making a success of the project. It is being tested on a daily basis and I am very proud of what we have – so far – delivered. Morale is at record-levels, proving once again that the civil service is at is very best when under pressure.”

The civil service code is clear: mandarins must “ensure you have ministerial authorisation for any contact with the media”. Which means May or Lidington will have had to authorise this statement, or else Heywood has broken the ministerial code. Did they? Or do they just let him do what he wants…


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