Simon Case quits men-only club

Resignation from Garrick Club comes less than 24 hours after the cabinet secretary defended his membership of the organisation
Simon Case. Photo:

By Tevye Markson

20 Mar 2024

Cabinet secretary Simon Case has resigned his Garrick Club membership less than 24 hours after he defended belonging to the men’s-only club.  

The Cabinet Office has confirmed Case renounced his membership of the  £1,600-a-year club. 

This follows intense criticism of Case and other public figures after the Guardian newspaper revealed a list of members of the Covent Garden club, including actors Benedict Cumberbatch and Stephen Fry, and some of the nation's most senior judges, among its members. 

Just yesterday, Case told parliament’s Liaison Committee: "I have to say, my position on this one is clear”.

Case was asked by committee member Liam Byrne whether it is possible to "foster a genuine culture of inclusiveness" at the same time as being a member of an all-male club and if it is “a good signal to send to the machine”.

He responded: "If you believe profoundly in the reform of an institution, by and large it's easier to do if you join it to make the change from within rather than chuck rocks from the outside.”

The cab sec added: "Maths is also part of this. Every one person who leaves – who is in favour of fixing this antediluvian position – every one of us who leaves means these institutions don't change. I think that when you want reform, you have to participate."

Case said he believed other government officials who are members of the club shared the same thinking.

"I'm very sure I speak on behalf of all the public servants who have recently joined the Garrick under the banner of trying to make reform happen," he said.

UK Statistics Authority chair Robert Chote and MI6 chief Richard Moore have also quit the club.

Remaining members of the club include Cabinet Office secretary Oliver Dowden and Supreme Court judge David Richards.

According to the Guardian, Case joined the Garrick Club in 2019 – at the same time as Dowden.

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