Jeremy Heywood is feeling “heat” from Number 10 this morning according to Whitehall sources. Guido will believe it when he sees it, Theresa May’s aides usually allow the Cabinet Secretary to walk all over them. The Sun reveals Heywood “played a key role in coordinating” the Brexit doom document and was consulted on it last month. The Times reckons he was ultimately “responsible” and “timed the paper’s release to “soften up” Cabinet ministers before a crucial meeting next week to discuss the government’s objectives for a future economic relationship with the EU”. Which means Heywood has several questions to answer this morning:
- What was his role in the genesis of the project?
- When did he find out about it?
- When did he tell ministers about it?
- When did he tell the Prime Minister?
- Why did his civil servants start the project off their own backs, without permission from ministers?
- Which civil servants were involved, in which departments?
- To whom was the work accountable?
- What role did the cross-Whitehall Government Economic Service play?
- Is it normal for departments to carry out work about which their ministers have no knowledge?
- According to Tim Shipman’s “Fall Out”, Heywood thought the Treasury’s referendum predictions were wrong. How? Why? How are these figures different? What lessons have been learned since then?
A senior government source says this morning that Heywood has “exceeded his mandate”… Number 10 have plenty to be asking him…