Catch up on Civil Service World's most-read articles of 2015

A new government, a Spending Review, big-name arrivals and departures – it's been a pretty busy year for Whitehall. As we head into the new year, take a trip down memory lane with CSW's most-read interviews, features and news stories of 2015

By matt.foster

22 Dec 2015

2015's most-read interviews

CSW's editor Jess Bowie got the first interview with the civil service's new chief executive, John Manzoni, and heard about ambitious plans for Whitehall's functional agenda.

The most unpredictable election for a generation? It's hard to recall now, but it certainly seemed that way in April, as deputy editor Matt Foster spoke to Labour's Lord Falconer about what an Ed Miliband government would mean for Whitehall...

Back in February, Ruth Owen, director general of personal tax, spoke to Samera Owusu Tutu about her efforts to raise morale – and perhaps even a smile – at HM Revenue and Customs. 

In what would be his final interview as Cabinet Office minister Francis (now Lord) Maude told Jess Bowie about civil service reform, performance management, briefings to the press, and the highs and lows of his five years in the job. 

Sir Jeremy Heywood (pictured) has been at the centre of power in Britain for longer than any prime minister. In a wide-ranging interview, Jess Bowie asked the cabinet secretary and head of the civil service about budget cuts, Whitehall pay, the Chilcot Inquiry – and whether he ever feels like throwing it all in.

As he prepared to retire from the civil service, outgoing Foreign Office permanent secretary Sir Simon Fraser sat down with Jess Bowie for one last interview, discussing FCO pay, whether Britain's diplomats have the right skills at a time of pay restraint, and efforts to boost diversity across Whitehall. 

Martin Donnelly, the top official at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), told Matt Foster on the eve of the Spending Review how BIS would try and safeguard its progress on diversity as budget cuts continue to bite.

In yet another piece that ended up being an exit interview, Matt Foster in March spoke to the then-Public Accounts Committee chair Margaret Hodge about grandstanding, whether she'd been unfair to HMRC – and life as the civil service's interrogator-in-chief. 

Once an anonymous Whitehall lawyer, Shami Chakrabarti is now the very public face of Britain’s civil liberties movement – and a woman who inspires admiration and outrage in equal measure. Jess Bowie spoke to the Liberty director about surveillance, secret courts and the rise of the government "securocrats". 

David Cameron wasted no time after the election in setting up a batch of new "Implementation Taskforces" to track the delivery of his new government's promises. And as director general of the powerful Economic and Domestic Affairs Secretariat, it falls to Antonia Romeo to make sure Cabinet decisions don’t get lost in the Whitehall machine – Matt Foster spoke to her.


2015's most-read features


2015's most-read news stories

CSW's final daily e-mail bulletin of the year will be sent on December 23 – and they'll resume on January 4. Sign up here, and do get in touch with any questions, comments or suggestions in the meantime. From the whole team, have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Read the most recent articles written by matt.foster - Top civil servants Robert Devereux & Chris Wormald stick up for spads

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