Ex-civil service chief Kerslake ‘helping Labour policy implementation drive’

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said Labour is working on policy implementation plans that could be handed to civil servants


Photo: Lord Bob Kerslake

By Richard Johnstone

25 Sep 2017

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell has said the Labour party has asked former civil service chief Lord Kerslake to lead the development of “implementation manuals” for its policies following gains made in June’s general election.

In an interview on Radio 4's Today Programme ahead of his speech to the Labour party conference in Brighton today, McDonnell said the party was working to develop implementation plans for its policies with Kerslake and other civil servants and former ministers.

Pledges in the party’s manifesto included nationalisation of the railways when current franchises expire, as well as taking the water industry back into public ownership, scrapping tuition fees and creating a new Department for Housing.


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McDonnell said that Labour had done “the traditional thing where our front-benchers met with the civil service to prepare the plan” during the election earlier this year.

The party is now looking to go further to devise policy plans that could be handed to civil servants after a Labour election victory, which would include draft legislation, he said.

“We’re taking each policy and we’re developing an implementation manual,” the shadow chancellor said. “We’re looking at what legislation is needed, so we will have draft legislation ready to go, we’re bringing civil servants like Lord Bob Kerslake to train our teams on how you implement these policies and we’re taking advice from past ministers as well.”

Kerslake undertook a independent review of the Treasury commissioned by McDonnell earlier this year, which recommended the ministry be given a much more sharply defined role to tackle perceptions it is "arrogant, overbearing and negative".

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