Rishi Could Block Sir Keir Appointing Sir Tom Scholar as His New Chief of Staff mdi-fullscreen

Yesterday’s Times ran a story on Keir Starmer’s quest to find a new Chief of Staff, having sacked Sam White in October. Apparently Sir Keir is on the hunt for someone with “government experience” amid concerns that virtually nobody on his team actually has any. Rumours have been going around for weeks about the name floated in the piece: Sir Tom Scholar…

Scholar, of course, is the former Permanent Secretary at the Treasury – and in a previous life, Downing Street Chief of Staff under Gordon Brown. The fact he’s even being considered for that same job again under Starmer, having only been sacked on ideological grounds by Kwasi Kwarteng as the Treasury’s top civil servant four months ago, speaks volumes. “A friend of Scholar” is quoted saying he’d be “very unlikely” to take the job. “Former colleagues” add he’s “never been very political”. He also happened to be at Yvette Cooper and Ed Balls’ anniversary party at the weekend…

If Sir Keir makes him an offer he can’t refuse, however, there’s another problem: the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (ACoBA) might have a thing or two to say about it. Here are their rules on new appointments for ex-Permanent Secretaries:

“An application is required for any new appointment or employment that individuals wish to take up during the two year period after leaving office. All applications at this level must be referred by the Department to the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (the Advisory Committee). The Advisory Committee provides advice to the Prime Minister, who makes the final decision.”

Which reads to Guido like Rishi himself would have to approve the appointment for his own opponent’s Chief of Staff, at least if Sir Keir wanted Scholar onboard within the next two years. “Do us a favour, Rishi”…

mdi-tag-outline Labour Party
mdi-account-multiple-outline Keir Starmer Kwasi Kwarteng Rishi Sunak Tom Scholar
mdi-timer January 24 2023 @ 15:18 mdi-share-variant mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-printer
Home Page Next Story
View Comments