Northern Ireland Office offers £117,000 for civil servant to help restart devolution

Applicants must be able to work in a "politically charged environment", the job advert says.


The Northern Ireland Office is offering up to £117,000 for a deputy political strategy director who will lead the department's efforts to restore a functioning devolved executive.

The department’s next deputy director, political strategy and implementation will oversee work to restore the Northern Ireland Executive, which has not sat at Stormont since a power-sharing agreement collapsed two years ago.

They will support meetings between political leaders in Northern Ireland and the UK and Irish governments, and develop policy proposals to “address outstanding issues”, the job advert says.


A great deal of work has already been done within Westminster and Whitehall to try and address challenges that have arisen since January 2017. The UK government passed legislation last year to clarify the powers of the Northern Ireland Civil Service, which has been struggling to determine how much authority it has to enact policies without ministers in place.

The NIO’s deputy director will also develop policy proposals to support and stabilise devolution in Northern Ireland, and “durable strategies” to enable the UK government to achieve its objectives in the nation.

The job ad calls for applicants who can demonstrate an "excellent understanding" of Northern Ireland's political and constitutional system and who can deliver on important objectives in a "politically charged environment".

The successful candidate will become part of the NIO’s senior leadership team. “All deputy directors are expected to be visible across the department, ensuring that ministerial priorities are delivered and to take responsibility for corporate leadership,” the listing says.

They will be based either in Stormont House or in the NIO’s London Office on Horse Guards Road, and will be required to travel between the two. The salary range for the post is from £68,000-£117,000.

They will replace the current deputy director, who is moving to another position within the department.

“This will be a stretching post providing ample opportunities to demonstrate leadership, strategic thinking and stakeholder management, working closely with ministers and senior officials across Whitehall and senior politicians and officials in Northern Ireland,” the ad says.

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