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The Independent

Sacking of Treasury official ‘retrograde and worrying’, says ex-Whitehall chief

The sacking of the highest Treasury official by Liz Truss’s Government has been condemned as “fairly disgraceful”, “retrograde and worrying” by a former head of the civil service.

Ex-Whitehall chief and unbiased crossbencher Lord Kerslake stated Sir Tom Scholar’s dismissal marked a “problematic” shift in direction of ministers putting in civil servants who agree with their views.

Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s transfer to oust Sir Tom on the primary day of the brand new administration sparked a backlash in Whitehall.

Kwasi Kwarteng (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

(PA Wire)

Ms Truss had beforehand railed in opposition to “Treasury orthodoxy”, with the sacking seen as a sign of her dedication to vary the route of financial coverage.

Lord Kerslake warned it will have a “chilling impact” on public confidence that ministers are receiving strong recommendation.

He advised The Guardian: “What appears to have occurred right here is that they’d a view about what they perceived was his strategy to the coverage aspect of issues, they usually determined they didn’t need to have that kind of strong recommendation on the problems.

It marks a brand new degree of the rising pattern of blaming the civil servants and dismissing them

Lord Kerslake

“That’s exactly what senior civil servants are there for. Much more than earlier than, senior civil servants might be nervous about this and fear that strong recommendation is interpreted as political variations with their insurance policies.

“It marks a brand new degree of the rising pattern of blaming the civil servants and dismissing them, and primarily saying they need a senior civil servant who aligns with our private views.

“I feel that’s actually problematic … I feel there might be a chilling impact and the broader world might be much less assured that selections might be made on the premise of sturdy recommendation.”

The peer joined a rising refrain of anger over the sacking of Sir Tom, who labored within the civil service for 3 many years.

Lord Kerslake (Victoria Jones/PA)

(PA Archive)

Lord Wilson, who headed the service underneath Tony Blair, stated in a letter to The Instances: “To summarily dismiss a key prime official, judged by most individuals to be excellent, at this second is destabilising.

“It’s opposite to established apply and is certain to create ripples as consequential strikes happen.”

Lord Wilson additionally described as “ill-judged” an intervention by former Treasury minister Lord Agnew, who on Tuesday defended the sacking, branding Sir Tom because the embodiment of “the malign affect of the Treasury orthodoxy”.

The ousting was additionally criticised by former cupboard secretaries Lord Butler and Lord O’Donnell.

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