Heywood speaks up for Devereux

Cabinet secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood has intervened in a bid to end the political briefings against work and pensions permanent secretary Robert Devereux.

By Joshua.Chambers

27 Nov 2013

A government source told The Independent newspaper that: “There was a lot of anger at the very top of the civil service about the way Robert was being treated. He had fallen out with [Francis] Maude and [Ian] Duncan Smith and they were basically trying to force him out by blaming all the failures of Universal Credit on him.

“Sometimes it’s the job of the cabinet secretary to speak on behalf of the whole civil service and draw the line. That’s what happened here.”

However, Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude appeared to hold his line, telling the Financial Times on Monday that “there were a lot of failures in DWP, and it isn’t good that it took a review commissioned… by the secretary of state to disclose what was going on.”

David Davis or David Blunkett?
24 or Homeland?
Mozart or Ella Fitzgerald?
Oh… oh that’s difficult. Mozart.
Independent or The Guardian?
Ooh! I’m not going to do that! That’s way bad politics for me. Mozart and Ella Fitzgerald was bad enough...
Sam Smith or Ed Sheeran?
Ed Sheeran.
Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama?
Well you know the thing is it’s almost worse now because one’s got a record. That’s a tough one, isn’t it? The first woman or the first African-American. He never shut Guantanamo. I suppose now I’ve got to say Hillary Clinton, haven’t I?
Newsnight or Channel 4 News?
I’m not answering that either.
MI6 or CIA?
Ooh [long pause]. Well I… oh dear. I’d still say MI6.
Goths or hippies?
[Laughs] Because of my age and generation, I’ll say goths.

Read the most recent articles written by Joshua.Chambers - Interview: Alison Munro

Share this page