Jowell: briefings against DCMS chief ‘spiteful’

Written by Joshua Chambers on 13 June 2013 in News
News

Former culture secretary Dame Tessa Jowell has attacked as “spiteful” an anonymous press briefing against Jonathan Stephens, permanent secretary of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), and called on the culture secretary to disavow it.

Last week the Times quoted a “government source” saying that “ministers, including Maria Miller, the new culture secretary, [do] not rate him” and that “the Olympics were run well despite [Stephens], not because of him”.

Jowell, the former Olympics minister, criticised the “really horrible, spiteful briefing”, adding that Stephens made a very valuable contribution to the Games.

She said: “It’s a very ugly turn of events that ministers or those close to them now believe that they can – with impunity – brief against their civil servants whilst at the same time expecting utter loyalty,” and called on Miller to “disavow these shady ‘government sources’.”

When asked whether Miller would disavow the briefings, DCMS declined to comment – a response that, Jowell said, left her “astonished”.

“No doubt not only Jonathan Stephens, but other civil servants in the department, will feel badly let down,” she added.

See also:

Editorial: With civil servants gagged, the debate over civil service reform looks rather like a mugging

Share this page

Add new comment

Contact the author

The contact details for the Civil Service World editorial team are available on our About Us page.

Related Articles

John Chilcot

Chilcot to appear before MPs next week

27 January 2015

Sir John confirms he will give evidence to the Foreign Affairs Select Committee on 4...

Chilcot delay is not my fault, says Sir Jeremy Heywood

27 January 2015

Cabinet secretary says the role he played in Chilcot Inquiry was "very limited"

A picture of a prison

MoJ seeks prison contracts with Saudi Arabia

26 January 2015

The Ministry of Justice’s commercial arm bids for contract with Saudi Arabian Prison Service

Picture of the late Kate Gross

Remembering Kate Gross

26 January 2015

Kate Gross, No. 10 private secretary to two prime ministers, was driven by a desire to make...