Cabinet Office names new propriety and ethics DG

Darren Tierney will leave DIT to follow in footsteps of Sue Gray and Helen MacNamara
Sgconlaw/CC BY-SA 3.0

By Jim Dunton

03 Mar 2021

The Cabinet Office has announced that Darren Tierney is to become its next director general for propriety and ethics, following in the footsteps of Sue Gray and Helen MacNamara.

Tierney will leave the Department for International Trade, where he is currently director general responsible for global trade and investment, and start his new role towards the end of this month.

Before joining DIT in 2016, Tierney was director for civil service strategy and efficiency at the Cabinet Office. Prior to that he held a succession of roles at the Ministry of Justice.  He was principal private secretary to Kenneth Clarke for Clarke’s first year as lord chancellor and justice secretary in the coalition government.

The Cabinet Office said that in his new role Tierney would oversee the Honours Secretariat and Privy Council Office and provide support for cabinet secretary Simon Case on the operation of government, including propriety and ethics advice to all government departments on standards and ethics issues. 

“The purpose of the role is to ensure the highest standards of propriety, integrity and governance within government,” it said.

During her time as propriety and ethics DG, Sue Gray was portrayed as one of the most influential officials in Whitehall and personally led the probe into the conduct of Cabinet Office minister Damian Green, which prompted his resignation.

Gray became permanent secretary at Northern Ireland’s Department of Finance in 2018.

She was succeeded by Helen MacNamara, who served as propriety and ethics DG until March last year when she was promoted to the role of deputy cabinet secretary but retained responsibility for the propriety and ethics brief.

MacNamara’s departure from government was announced in January. She is due to become director of policy and corporate affairs at the Premier League.

Read the most recent articles written by Jim Dunton - King Charles takes on civil service patron roles


Share this page