My intervention during the Statement on the appointment of the National Security Adviser and other senior civil service positions, 30 June 2020

John Redwood (Wokingham) (Con): I strongly support the split of the two roles. They are both very big and very different jobs.

When the Government comes to appoint a new Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service would it pay special attention to the need to improve the accuracy, timeliness, relevance of data being used by Chief Executives and other senior managers throughout the Civil Service and the agencies and timely data to Ministers, so they can ask the right questions and provide the right supervision. I think there could be a lot of improvement in that area.

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (The Rt Hon Michael Gove MP): My Right Honourable Friend is absolutely right, and he was intimately involved in a program of Whitehall reform when he was Head of the Prime Minister’s Policy Unit in the 1980’s as a very young man. The innovations that were brought in at that time under political appointees such as John Hoskyns and others helped to create the next steps agencies which were so vital in making sure there was greater accountability in the delivery of public services and we could do well to learn from some of the examples he set.


  1. Narrow Shoulders
    June 30, 2020

    If government can learn from you Sir John why are you not openly involved in government?

    I do think that the administration might benefit from some older, more experienced heads.

  2. glen cullen
    June 30, 2020

    I would question the need for a National Security Adviser and National Security Council

    They’re only been in creation since 2010 but can’t see any extra value they bring to the party that the MoD didn’t

  3. Nigl
    July 1, 2020

    Greater accountability. Examples please.

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