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Boris Johnson is set to oust Britain’s top civil servant Sir Mark Sedwill ‘as early as Monday’

Boris Johnson is set to oust Britain’s top civil servant Sir Mark Sedwill ‘as early as Monday’ in Whitehall revolution overseen by Dominic Cummings

  • Cabinet Secretary Sir Mark Sedwill has been the target of hostile briefing
  • Return of career civil servant Simon Case put Sedwill’s future in question
  • Dominic Cummings told colleagues of need for fundamental civil service change
  • Claimed that coronavirus had exposed problems with the Whitehall machine 

Boris Johnson is set to oust Britain’s top civil servant ‘as early as Monday’ after he was accused of lacking the skills to deal with the coronavirus crisis.

Sir Mark Sedwill, the Cabinet Secretary, has been the target of hostile briefings in  Downing Street ahead of an expected overhaul of the Cabinet Office.

He was appointed National Security Adviser by Theresa May in 2017 and made Cabinet Secretary a year later – and was allowed to do both jobs.

A source told The Sunday Telegraph that Sir Mark is ‘fighting to stay as National Security Adviser’ and is resigned to losing his post as Cabinet Secretary.

They said: ”He is fighting to keep the national security one but they want to take everything off him and give him a non-job.’

It comes as Dominic Cummings, the PM’s chief aide and chief architect of the Leave vote in the 2016 referendum, prepares to take an axe to the Civil Service after the coronavirus exposed ‘fundamental’ flaws in the government machine.

Boris Johnson is set to oust Sir Mark Sedwill, the Cabinet Secretary, ‘as early as Monday’ after he was accused of lacking the skills to deal with the coronavirus crisis

It comes as Dominic Cummings, the PM's chief aide, prepares to take an axe to the Civil Service after the coronavirus exposed 'fundamental' flaws in the government machine

It comes as Dominic Cummings, the PM's chief aide, prepares to take an axe to the Civil Service after the coronavirus exposed 'fundamental' flaws in the government machine

It comes as Dominic Cummings, the PM’s chief aide, prepares to take an axe to the Civil Service after the coronavirus exposed ‘fundamental’ flaws in the government machine

Mr Cummings is said to have told colleagues the Cabinet Office will be stripped of powers after being found wanting during the crisis.

There were even claims of a bruising exchange between the PM and Cabinet Secretary Sir Mark Sedwill at a meeting on the lockdown ‘exit strategy’ recently. 

The Cabinet Office has been criticised for being unwieldy, unfocused and unresponsive to political pressure as ministers have attempted to avoid crises on personal protective equipment (PPE) and ventilator shortages.

Critics fear that Sir Mark, who served as an envoy in Afghanistan, is too steeped in foreign policy concerns and lacks the skills to tackle a complex domestic crisis. 

Sir Mark Sedwill, the Cabinet Secretary, has been the target of increasingly hostile briefings in Downing Street ahead of an expected overhaul of the Cabinet Office and senior ministers

Sir Mark Sedwill, the Cabinet Secretary, has been the target of increasingly hostile briefings in Downing Street ahead of an expected overhaul of the Cabinet Office and senior ministers

Mr Johnson's increasing use of individuals from the private sector could be a sign that Sir Mark (pictured second from left) may not have long left in the Cabinet Office

Mr Johnson’s increasing use of individuals from the private sector could be a sign that Sir Mark (pictured second from left) may not have long left in the Cabinet Office 

‘Mark could convene a (legal assembly) of Pashtun elders, wire up GCHQ and probably kill a man with his bare hands but Simon’s rather better at solving a series of ticklish problems and making the whole thing ‘tick’,’ a source told The Times.

When asked at a briefing whether Sir Mark was being sidelined, a Downing Street spokesman said: ‘Sir Mark continues to work closely with the senior team to ensure that the government receives all the advice that it needs.’ 

Earlier this week, Downing Street refused to confirm if Sir Mark would continue to serve as Cabinet Secretary into next year.

But Mr Johnson’s increasing use of individuals from the private sector could be a sign that Sir Mark may not have long left in the Cabinet Office.

The PM most recently appointed Baroness Dido Harding, the former chief executive of Talktalk, to head the government’s Test and Trace programme.

Mr Cummings (pictured arriving to Downing Street) is said to have told colleagues the Cabinet Office will be stripped of powers after being found wanting during the crisis

Mr Cummings (pictured arriving to Downing Street) is said to have told colleagues the Cabinet Office will be stripped of powers after being found wanting during the crisis 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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