Sir Jeremy Heywood – Sell-off of BAE, the Last of Britain’s Great British Defence Manufacturers

October 5 2012: Sir Jeremy Heywood, Cabinet enforcer and a web of cronies, at centre of incestuous NEXUS lobbying to end independence of BAE

The controversial merger of the defense giant BAE Systems with a foreign conglomerate has been described by one respected global affairs expert as the ‘biggest redrawing of global defenses since the Cold War’.

The Government is now under intense pressure to stop the deal by refusing to sell its golden share in BAE (which last year sold £19?billion of defense and aerospace equipment). The golden share gives ministers the power to block a change of control of the company, to bar any non-UK nationals from top jobs at the firm and prevent any foreign investor owning more than 15 per cent of the company. Yet there are widespread fears that the merger is a done deal and that David Cameron doesn’t mind that one of the last great British manufacturing institutions, whose history dates back to Vickers-Armstrong which built the Spitfire, will fall into foreign hands.

The Prime Minister is said to be in favour of the move after coming under pressure from the Cabinet Secretary, Sir Jeremy Heywood. He has been advocating the merger to the PM and has had a series of meetings with BAE and Morgan Stanley, the American investment bank which is advising the firm and which is in line to get millions from its work on the deal.

However, there is profound disquiet over the fact that 50-year-old Heywood has very strong personal links with Morgan Stanley staff, having worked at the bank as a director during a four-year break from the civil service. There is no suggestion, though, that he will benefit financially from the BAE merger. There have been claims that as the most important civil servant in government, the uber-ambitious Heywood (who was knighted by Cameron in January) is in danger of opening himself to charges that he could compromise the scrupulous independence expected of someone in his position. Heywood’s involvement has also led to widespread suspicions that the £28?billion BAE deal is being stitched together by the Whitehall establishment.

Several MPs want him to be questioned by the Commons defense select committee, which is investigating the merger. Heywood was a highly-paid director of Morgan Stanley as recently as 2007 — having taken a break from his Whitehall career. (Previously he had been Principal Private Secretary to Prime Minister Tony Blair and Head of Domestic Policy and Strategy at the Cabinet Office under PM Gordon Brown.)

Heywood’s stint at the U.S. bank was itself highly controversial. He was accused of making a large sum of money while employed by Morgan Stanley, which dealt with the ill-fated Southern Cross care homes group. Heywood was the ultimate head of the Morgan Stanley team which advised on the sale of Southern Cross in 2006 to a U.S. equity firm which soon hived off many of the freeholds of the homes to another company. In turn, that company sold them off. The result was that 31,000 frail and elderly residents in 750 homes faced being made homeless and 3,000 jobs were lost. Although he was not directly involved in the deal, it was never made clear how much money Heywood was paid by Morgan Stanley at the time, but banking sources said it would have been a handsome sum. Justin Bowden, a union boss, said Heywood was in the scandal ‘up to his neck.’
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2213626/SPECIAL-INVESTIGATION-Sir-Jeremy-Heywood-centre-incestuous-nexus-lobbying-end-independence-BAE.html

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Sir Jeremy Heywood – The Big Society Debacle & Allegations of a Misuse of Government and Charitable Funds.-

July 26 2014: David Cameron’s Big Society in tatters as charity watchdog launches investigation into claims of Government funding misuse

David Cameron’s flagship Big Society Network is being investigated by the Charity Commission over allegations that it misused government funding and made inappropriate payments to its directors – including a Tory donor. The organization, which was launched by the Prime Minister in 2010, was given at least £2.5 million of National Lottery funding and public-sector grants despite having no record of charitable activity. The Independent has learnt that it has now been wound up, having used much of the money on projects that came nowhere near delivering on their promised objectives.

Two senior figures on government grant awarding bodies have also made allegations that they were pressured into handing over money to the Big Society Network despite severe reservations about the viability of the projects they were being asked to support. Liam Black, a former trustee of Nesta, which was then a public body sponsored by the Department for Business, said Nesta had been “forced” to give grants that totalled £480,000 to the Big Society Network in 2010 without a competitive pitch. He described it as a “scandalous waste of money”. Another senior figure involved in the decision to award £299,800 from the Cabinet Office to the organization said the funding request had initially been turned down. “When we did the analysis we turned them down because the bid did not stack up,” they said. “But we were told to go back and change the criteria to make it work.”

Tonight Labour said it was writing to the Cabinet Secretary, Sir Jeremy Heywood, asking him to investigate whether political pressure had been applied to give an organization with close ties to ministers, “special treatment”. The Independent understands that the Charity Commission is also looking into allegations that some of the “restricted funds” given by the Cabinet Office for a childhood obesity project were transferred to pay down the deficit of a linked company. It is also investigating payments made by the charity, “for consultancy services” to two directors of the charity and its chair, Martyn Rose. Mr Rose, who helped set up the Big Society Network, also contributed more than £54,000 to the 2010 Conservative election campaign.

Tonight he said he had no memory of the payment but added that it was possible “one of my companies did work on its behalf”. He said he had personally put £200,000 into the Big Society Network which he had not got back. “With hindsight, of course, if we had all known that the projects were not going to work we would have been idiots to do them,” he said. “[The truth] is that in the early stages of social investment some will work and some won’t.” Giles Gibbons, a trustee of the charity and a former business partner of Steve Hilton, David Cameron’s “blue skies thinker”, added that he did not believe any of the payments made by the charity had been in any way inappropriate.

An examination of the Big Society Network projects, funded by the Government and the lottery, reveal a marked discrepancy between what they claimed they would achieve and what they did. They included: A project called “Your Square Mile” whose purpose was to encourage and enable local people to improve their community. It was awarded £830,000 by the Big Lottery Fund – despite officials assessing the application as “weak” in three out of the six criteria. In February 2012 the project had attracted just 64 signed-up groups compared with the one million predicted in the funding application.

A project called Get In – to tackle childhood obesity through sport. In April 2012 it was awarded a grant of £299,800 from the Cabinet Office despite officials concluding it was unlikely to meet its stated objectives. They were told to change their selection criteria and approve the grant. The project was never even launched.

Britain’s Personal Best, which aimed to build on the Olympic Games by encouraging people to excel in athletic, educational or creative challenges. Given £997,960 in April 2013 by the Big Lottery Fund, it claimed it would sign up 120,000 people to take on challenges in their community – but was wound up within months after failing to meet all the milestones the Big Lottery Fund had set.

A long-running investigation by Civil Society News into Big Society Network funding has also discovered that the organization was given statutory grants totalling £480,000 in 2010 by Nesta – which was then an arms-length body of the Department of Business – without a competitive pitch being held. About £150,000 was to part-finance the core costs of running the organization in its early stages and £330,000 was to support four projects – called Nexters, Spring, Your Local Budget and It’s Our Community. Nesta is now an independent charity but said, “While the vast majority of Nesta’s grants are made following open calls for proposals, we do have the ability to provide grants to projects that fit with our vision and advance our objects outside of open calls for proposals. That is what happened with the grants to the Big Society Network.”

Labour is now demanding an inquiry into links between the Big Society Network and senior Conservatives. Several members of the network’s staff had worked with and for ministers including Michael Gove and Theresa May, and two had stood as Tory candidates. Giles Gibbons had been a partner in the same firm as Steve Hilton and co-wrote a book with him. He said tonight: “Am I disappointed that the network didn’t have a more positive impact? The answer is 100 per cent yes. Do I think we could have done more about that? Yes I think we could have. “There was powerful core at the heart of what we were trying to do but was our delivery was not good enough. Is there anything untoward in the way in which we have worked? I genuinely don’t think there is.” But Lisa Nandy, the shadow minister for civil society said: “It’s bad enough that millions of pounds of public money were squandered, but the connections between these organizations and the Conservative party are deeply concerning.”

A spokeswoman for the Charity Commission said: “Our case into the Society Network Foundation remains open and ongoing. We have received a response to questions we had relating to connected-party transactions and the use of a grant. “However this does not fully address our concerns and we are in the process of engaging further with the trustees. We are also awaiting copies of documents that explain the grounds on which a grant was given.”

Key players

Steve Hilton: A former advertising executive who became David Cameron’s, “blue skies thinker”. He championed the idea of the Big Society, and was instrumental in getting government backing for it when the Tories came to power.

Martyn Rose: A businessman who gave £60,000 to the Tories in the run-up to the last election and became chairman of the Big Society Network. Worked with both Theresa May and Michael Gove.

Giles Gibbons: Co-wrote a book with Steve Hilton called Good Business. He became a trustee of the Society Network Foundation – the charitable arm of the Big Society Network. It is now being investigated by the Charity Commission.

Steve Moore: Worked for the Tories in the late 1980s and became chief executive of the Big Society Network. Was ultimately responsible for delivering the projects that failed. Had close links with Mr Hilton and the Nick Hurd, the minister responsible for the Big Society.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/exclusive-camerons-big-society-in-tatters-as-charity-watchdog-launches-investigation-into-claims-of-government-funding-misuse-9629848.html

August 20 2014: Since publication of the above, an application dated 7 August 2014 has been made by the Trustees to have the corporate entity Society Network Foundation Ltd struck off the Register of Companies. The controversial charity that received over £2.5m of lottery and government grants is to be wound up amid allegations that it misused funding and made inappropriate payments to its directors. The Society Foundation Network, which ran the Big Society Network, is being probed by the Charity Commission following several failed projects.

The Network was also investigated by the National Audit Office over allegations that Government money was incorrectly allocated. The charity denies all the allegations. Yesterday, “The Independent” revealed that one project run by the organization had made a series of claims for nearly £1m of lottery funding that are now being disputed by other charitable organizations it referred to. The Charity Commission said that the trustees of the organization had contacted it to tell them that they planned to voluntarily wind it down. It said its “operational compliance” case into the terms and conditions of a grant awarded to the charity and other accountancy issues were still on-going and the trustees were co-operating.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/big-society-charity-winds-up-after-claims-it-misused-up-to-25m-in-funding-9681836.html

Sir Jeremy Heywood – Pfizer / AstraZeneca Takeover Bid. Hang on David I’ll Ask the Wife!!

May 27 2014: The Failed Pfizer / AstraZeneca takeover bid

Pfizer’s audacious bid to takeover AstraZeneca is dead, for the moment. Had Pfizer succeeded, it would have been the largest takeover in UK corporate history. Whatever impact the deal would have had on the two companies involved, it would have also had profound implications for British science, exports and jobs in one of the most important sectors of the UK economy. As well as important private interests being at stake, there were also clear and distinct public interests in the deal. It was evident from the start that the takeover was being pursued for the wrong reasons and as such it would be bad for AstraZeneca, and in result bad for the UK.

It is to the credit of the AstraZeneca board that they remained clear-headed in the face of intense pressure and that, in this case, it was the board that rebuffed the offer. That is the way it should remain, it should be the existing owners of a company – the shareholders and their agents – who should determine future ownership. Here the system appears to have ‘worked’.

So this the story of how the government misjudged the situation, being readily seduced into becoming cheerleaders for a deal which ministers mistakenly viewed through a narrow, political lens as an endorsement of their tax policy:

In November 2013 Pfizer’s chairman and chief executive Ian Read made an initial approach to AstraZeneca’s chairman Leif Johansson. Pfizer subsequently made a more formal approach on 5 January 2014, valuing the company at around £60bn. A week later the AstraZeneca board rejected the offer as “very significantly” undervaluing the company, offering too little cash (30 per cent), and being too risky in terms of execution. The £60bn price tag would have made it among the largest transactions in UK corporate history.

On 26 April 2014, Pfizer made a second approach, which was also rebuffed. With the deadline imposed by the City Code on Takeover & Mergers fast approaching, Pfizer made two further offers on the weekend of 17 May, eventually valuing the company at almost £70bn in what was a final offer. Again, these offers were rejected by the AstraZeneca board without reference to shareholders.

Under the Code, Pfizer then had until 26 May to ‘put up or shut up’ with a firm offer. The significance of the deal went far beyond the price tag. The potential transaction went to the heart of the debate about the quality of jobs in the UK and the need to reform our economy so it is better balanced and more sustainable in the long term.

The question was whether the purchase – foreign or otherwise – of AstraZeneca would strengthen the company over the long-term. Would it help grow a world-leading pharmaceuticals industry and would it expand research, science and skills base? If not, would it have such a material and adverse impact on our economy that it would necessitate government action to safeguard the national economic interest? These were the questions asked of scientists, business leaders, and Ministers alike. Nobody positively made the case for the deal to go ahead.

Indeed the voices raised were those who would not usually argue for government involvement in the economy they were now vigorously making the case that the government should act to safeguard the national economic interest. Others urging action included the leading businessman and former Science Minister, Lord Sainsbury, who went public with his concerns, as did the former CEO of Standard Chartered Bank, Lord (Mervyn) Davies. Lord Heseltine expressed his reservations too, along with the Chief Executive of Aberdeen Asset Management. The Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, John Longworth, put it well when he said: “we must remember that there’s a lot more to being an open economy than saying ‘yes’ to every takeover”. Of great concern was Pfizer’s record of acquiring other companies, intellectually asset-stripping them, cutting R&D spending, and shutting down research facilities with large consequent job losses.

So the worry in the science and business community in light of all this was for the long term future of the company and the sector. In spite of this, the initial response of the government looked to the short term. It seemed that the prospect of being able to boast of bringing one of the world’s largest companies on to the Exchequer’s books in the clouded their judgement on the longer-term consequences of the deal. Sources close to George Osborne had said the bid was, “a massive vote of confidence” in the UK and Grant Shapps said the takeover could be, “a great Anglo-American tie-up”. Treasury Minister David Gauke said the deal showed how, “the UK is now very much top of the list for foreign companies looking to increase their activities.

In his eagerness to take ownership of the deal as an endorsement of government policy, the media were briefed that the Prime Minister had appointed Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood and senior Treasury official John Kingman to, “negotiate” with Pfizer. In doing so, it both undermined the AstraZeneca board who had so far rebuffed Pfizer and gave the impression that the government were driving the deal. This impression was reinforced when AstraZeneca Chairman Leif Johansson was reported to have asked the government to take a more neutral stance.

In seemingly promoting the deal, the government found itself out of step with the business and science communities, and on the wrong side of the argument. Ministers also failed to appreciate the extent to which the desire to use tax inversion in the US was driving the deal – tax inversion being a loop hole in US law where a company can re-incorporate overseas in order to reduce the tax burden on income earned abroad. Ian Read – who started off in the accounts department at Pfizer – admitted in his evidence to the BIS select committee that one of the principal rationales for the deal was tax planning. Sir David Barnes, former CEO of AstraZeneca, put it well in an email saying, “whilst all companies should manage their tax affairs efficiently, tax should not be the driving imperative for such a transaction. Whilst there is potential (substantial) tax advantage for Pfizer through tax inversion, that is a narrow basis on which to build an enduring and constructive business partnership”.

Pfizer asserted at the Select Committee hearing on 13 May 2014 that the US was unlikely to act to end the use of tax inversion. No sooner did they do so than numerous powerful US senators – Democrat and Republican – were demanding action to stop it the day after. Now, Michigan Democrat Senator Carl Levin has introduced a bill to place a moratorium on corporate inversions for two years while the US tax code is reformed.

The 26 May deadline passed and AstraZeneca fought off the current threat from Pfizer. Under the rules, Pfizer will be prevented from making another attempt to buy AstraZeneca for at least another six months. But others may try before that, and the threat of similar takeovers in the pharmaceuticals sector and elsewhere in the future always remains. Britain has benefited enormously from inward investment which – along with the money – has also brought new ideas and ways of working. The UK must remain open to business and as an attractive destination for investment, not as a global tax-avoidance scam, but because of the positive benefits the UK is able to offer innovative companies.
http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2014/05/pfizerastrazeneca-takeover-bid-story-what-labour-did-and-why

June 2 2014: Just let me ask the wife says Sir Jeremy – Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood advised the Prime Minister on what view to take on the Pfizer takeover bid for its British rival AstraZeneca. As it happens, his wife had written a report, circulated to politicians, advising pharmaceutical firms to restructure, including mergers with rivals, ‘to navigate turbulent times’. Although the Pfizer bid has now been withdrawn, some wonder if Heywood should have been involved given that he might be suspected of sharing the view of Lady Heywood and her employer, McKinsey. husbands/wives?

Sir Jeremy Heywood – European Surveillance – Drone Technology Introduction

November 12 2013: How the USA used Sir Jeremy Heywood and Sir John Scarlett to bring an EU drone strike capability on anyone in the UK

US influence in Europe and the UK has the aim of constructing a Federal model as in the US and USSR. In this model Parliament is a weakened part of the constitution and pays lip service to democratic principles whilst unelected bureaucrats create and implement policies. The UK plays it’s role in the European construction, but without the full knowledge of the general population. Policies are imposed by the Cabinet Secretary, Sir John Heywood, on the basis that they contribute to the EU mission.

There has been a rising chorus in the political press that the Civil Service, of which the Cabinet Office is the top and the Cabinet Secretary shares the lead Civil Service role, has become politicized and it’s neutrality compromised. The notion of the “politicization” of the Civil Service is, however, vague not having reference to a particular political party. The Civil Service under Sir Jeremy Heywood has not favoured the political aims of one or other Party at Westminster. It has however, confirmed the political aims of the EU Commission in Brussels and the implementation of it’s political European projects in the UK, and in that sense the Civil Service has both lost it’s neutrality and has become politicized by the actions of Sir Jeremy Heywood. This is a significant point in constitutional terms because the checks and balances of the unwritten UK constitution have become unbalanced and they begin to mirror the European model which is being imposed in an underhand and secretive way.

Sir Jeremy Heywood has been seen to intervene in the political arena many times. His influence over Police Chief Constables is suspected in the “Plebgate” controversy where police at all levels conspired against Cabinet Minister Andrew Mitchell forcing his resignation. Heywood did not view crucial video evidence which would have prevented the whole process.

Energy policy has also been affected and Heywood recently intervened to prevent Environment Minister Owen Paterson from publishing a report on the limitations of wind technology. Heywood also entertained Cuadrilla executives as the anti-Fracking campaign broke out.

The scenario is also set for EU controlled drone warfare In September 2002 the infamous Dodgy Dossier was released by the UK Government which became the justification for the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Sir Jeremy Heywood was Principal Private Secretary to Tony Blair appointed in 1999. The dossier was flawed and made false allegations about the existence of WMD and nuclear programs in Iraq.

Sir John Scarlett was chair of JIC, the Joint Intelligence Committee and he wrote to Tony Blair’s foreign affairs adviser David Manning about, “the benefit of obscuring the fact that in terms of WMD Iraq is not that exceptional”. In other words the dossier was misleading about Iraq’s capabilities. Sir Richard Dearlove, as ‘C’ Head of MI6 said he was misquoted in the ‘Downing Street Memo’ of a meeting about Iraq on 23 July 2002 saying it was, ” a misquotation of what I said, and what I said is not in the public record.”

Sir Jeremy Heywood resigned the Civil Service (and joined Morgan Stanley bank) in 2003. The Hutton Inquiry found that he had claimed not to minute meetings in the PM’s office concerning the scientist Dr David Kelly who died, (murder or suicide) 17 July 2003 having been named as a source questioning the veracity of the Dodgy Dossier.

With so much confusion it is at least clear that the UK had been mobilized by the USA to justify George Bush’s desire to hit Saddam Hussein. Sir John Scarlett’s role in the Iraq affair emerged as being pro-US. Sir Jeremy Heywood’s role was less clear until 2013. It has been reported in the last week that Sir Jeremy Heywood’s Cabinet Office is blocking the release of papers to the Iraq inquiry which detail conversations between Blair and Bush together with notes and cabinet meetings. This is assumed to be in order to protect UK US relations.

Sir John Scarlett acting as consultant to Morgan Stanley Bank once again joined with Sir Jeremy Heywood (returned to the Civil Service from Morgan Stanley bank) in an attempt to sell the UK defense contractor BAE Systems to the European defense contractor EADS in November 2012. Morgan Stanley stood to profit form the sale and questions about Heywood’s conflict of interest were asked.

The deal fell through but this is a good indicator of Heywood’s position on UK defense. It is part of the European and USA strategy that the EU member states reduce their defense capabilities in favor of a federal EU force. The recent announcement of a loss of naval shipbuilding jobs at the Royal Navy headquarters, Portsmouth is part of that plan.

A direct consequence of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is the spread of the radicalization process controlled by Al Qaeda and sister Taliban groups which were originally CIA creations. The CIA has waged a drone war on it’s creations in Pakistan without any hindrance from other states. Drone strike technology has been developed and refined in a theater of war well away from Western shores. In the summer of 2013 it was announced that the EU intended to operate it’s own drone air force as an intelligence gathering operation to counter the US activities.

Lady Ashton called for the use of military drones in Europe. So the war which Heywood helped to start in Iraq produced a drone nursery in Pakistan which technology the EU will be able to use against it’s own citizens using, “threats” as an excuse.

Member states are weakened militarily and in intelligence terms resultant of policies implemented by the likes of Sir Jeremy Heywood and Sir John Scarlett that an EU drone-based air intelligence force is the only answer to, “threats” from Al Qaeda and it’s off – shoots. http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:4_aiL2CGcbEJ:peoplestrustmalaysia.wordpress.com/tag/jeremy-heywood/+&cd=39&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk&client=firefox-a

31 October 2014: France’s security fears over mysterious drones seen flying above nuclear plants

France has launched an investigation into unidentified drones that have been spotted over nuclear plants operated by state-owned utility EDF , its interior minister said on Thursday. Seven nuclear plants across the country were flown over by drones between October 5 and October 20, an EDF spokeswoman said, without any impact on the plants’ safety or functioning. ‘There’s a judicial investigation under way, measures are being taken to know what these drones are and neutralise them,’ Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve told France Info radio yesterday – without specifying the measures. The drone sightings may renew concerns about the safety of nuclear plants in France, the world’s most nuclear-reliant country with 58 reactors on 19 sites operated by EDF.

Greenpeace denied any involvement in the pilotless flight activity. ‘For all its actions, Greenpeace always acts openly and claim responsibility,’ Yannick Rousselet, head of Greenpeace’s anti-nuclear campaign, said in a statement. ‘What is happening is very worrying,’ he said, adding that France’s nuclear research institute CEA near Paris had also been flown over, citing unspecified sources.

EDF named the plants over which drones had been spotted as Creys-Malville and Bugey in the southeast, Blayais in the soutwest, Cattenom and Chooz in the northeast, Gravelines in the north and Nogent-sur-Seine, the closest plant to Paris. The unmanned aircraft were spotted late in the evening, at night or very early in the morning, EDF said. It is prohibited to fly less than 1,000 meters above nuclear plants and within a 5 kilometer radius. Each plant has filed a formal complaint with the police against the anonymous people behind the drone flights.

This week New York police said they are concerned drones could become tools for terrorists, and are investigating ways to stop potential attacks. Until now police haven’t acknowledged drones as a potential weapon, but the NYPD has now said the technology has advanced enough that someone could use them to carry out an air assault using chemical weapons and firearms. Police want to develop technology which will allow them to take control of drones as well as scan the skies for them before major events.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2813902/France-investigates-mystery-drone-activity-nuclear-plants.html

References:
http://www.theguardian.com/public-leaders-network/2013/oct/18/jeremy-heywood-pollyanna-whitehall-francis-maude
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/paul-flynn/politicising-the-civil-service_b_3110213.html
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2359126/Sir-Jeremy-Heywood-Lazy-civil-servants-hide.html
http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/jul/10/ministers-new-powers-civil-servants
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/liberaldemocrats/10326146/Sir-Jeremy-Heywood-called-in-to-defuse-wind-farm-row.html
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/top-civil-servant-jeremy-heywood-met-cuadrilla-chief-straight-after-sussex-fracking-announcement-8827542.html
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2213626/SPECIAL-INVESTIGATION-Sir-Jeremy-Heywood-centre-incestuous-nexus-lobbying-end-independence-BAE.html
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2207611/BAE-deal-Conflict-fears-David-Camerons-right-hand-mandarin-Sir-Jeremy-Heywood.html
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/defence/10429617/Shipbuilding-to-stop-at-Portsmouth-but-jobs-could-be-saved-if-Scotland-votes-for-independence.html
http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/bruno-in-brussels-eu-unplugged/brusselsbruno/367/
http://rt.com/news/data-protection-rules-eu-491/
http://euobserver.com/defence/121854
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/10425418/Brussels-demands-EU-intelligence-service-to-spy-on-US.html
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-24753920
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-24776363

Sir Jeremy Heywood – Adored By Blair Brown and Cameron – He Knows Just Where the Bodies are Buried

October 11 2011: Peter Oborne, Daily Telegraph chief political commentator. No, Mr Cameron, Jeremy Heywood is not the man to lead the Civil Service

In 1999 the Blairites needed allies inside the system, and fortunately there was one to hand. They were always hostile to outsiders, and at first the prime minister’s private secretary, the young and ambitious Jeremy Heywood, was regarded with suspicion. But with the passage of time Heywood was accepted as a vital member of the group of allies around Blair. Indeed, he was to play a central role as the disciplines of government collapsed and the “sofa culture” of Downing Street reached its peak.

Ordinary procedures, such as minute taking, appear to have partly ceased. This became embarrassingly apparent when the Hutton inquiry into the death (murder or suicide) of Dr David Kelly sought to reconstruct the process which had led to the Ministry of Defence scientist’s name appearing in a national newspaper. Lord Hutton heard how some four meetings, each involving senior officials and cabinet ministers, had taken place in the 48 hours before Dr Kelly’s name was released. In an extraordinary breach of traditional Whitehall procedure, it emerged that not one of these meetings was minuted. This was Heywood’s job, and it was not carried out.

But it was not just basic procedures that failed with Heywood in Downing Street. Standards of integrity stalled too, as The Daily Telegraph discovered when we ran a well-sourced story revealing that Downing Street had pressed for Tony Blair to be given a bigger public role in the Queen Mother’s funeral of early 2002. Heywood wrote a letter to this newspaper, in his capacity as private secretary to the prime minister, insisting that the report was “without foundation”. To say the least, this was being economical with the truth. fundamentally, he had crossed the key dividing line between unbiased, public-spirited official and careerist political adviser.

Tony Blair, naturally, adored his private secretary and, in another blatant abuse of Civil Service rules, sought to rocket him to permanent secretary level. When this move was resisted, HEYWOOD JUST VANISHED. Granted “unpaid leave” from the Civil Service, he suddenly emerged as co-head of the Morgan Stanley investment banking division, only returning four years later to help sort out Gordon Brown’s chaotic Downing Street machine.

It is easy to understand why David Cameron – who personally chose Heywood – wanted him so much. Heywood is an old friend who knows his way all around Whitehall, and is expert at delivering what a prime minister wants. But that brief stint at Morgan Stanley aside, he has never worked outside Downing Street and the Treasury. Indeed, Heywood has no experience of the wider Civil Service, which makes his first big decision especially troubling.

Sir Gus O’Donnell (and nearly all his predecessors) combined the job of cabinet secretary with that of head of the home Civil Service. There have been very solid reasons for this, not least because it has meant that the Civil Service has a proper voice inside 10 Downing Street. Heywood has turned his back on this arrangement. Precedent suggests this decision will open the way to a long, unnecessary period of attrition between Downing Street and the outlying parts of government. It is a recipe for division and chaos.

David Cameron once boasted that he was the “heir to Blair” and his choice of Heywood suggests the comparison is all too apt. Heywood is a perfect manifestation of everything that has gone so very wrong with the British Civil Service over the past 15 years – too cosy a relationship between public and private, too much dominance at the centre, contempt for tradition and the collapse of due process.

In his foreword to the new ministerial code, published last year, David Cameron wrote that “after the scandals of recent years, people have lost faith in politics and politicians. It is our duty to restore their trust. It is not enough simply to make a difference. We must be different.” These are empty words, with Jeremy Heywood at the heart of government and guardian of British public standards. http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/peteroborne/100110964/no-prime-minister-this-is-not-the-man-to-lead-the-civil-service/

March 17 2012 Sir Jeremy Heywood is the man who really runs the country

All he needed was a trilby and leather coat but there was something of ’Allo ’Allo!’s Herr Flick to the mandarin giving evidence at the Public Accounts Committee one recent afternoon. The PAC is parliament’s prime scrutineer of state spending. Civil servants have it dinned into their skulls to regard it with caution, if not respect. Yet this Herr Flick, with his little sticky-up fringe, his minimalist spectacles, his subtle pouts and sly smiles, conducted himself as a superior mortal. He toyed with the committee. He said he was there as ‘a courtesy’. The MPs should not expect him to make a habit of appearing before them.

This lean-livered, bloodless Brahmin was Sir Jeremy Heywood, David Cameron’s new Cabinet Secretary. He may long have flown under the radar but he has now acquired such power that public scrutiny is unavoidable. At the committee he appeared alongside burly, bearded Sir Bob Kerslake, new head of the Civil Service. The positions of Cabinet Secretary and head of the Civil Service were once one and the same but fiddly changes have been made. As the meeting progressed it became clear who had emerged the senior partner after that bifurcation. Kerslake talked. A lot. A lot of not terribly much. Plainly he had been given the boring, admin part of the portfolio. Compact Heywood listened, aloof, stroking his narrow lips. He spoke sparingly, vouchsafing information with the economy of a gardener using a laboratory pipette to water his bonsai tree. Sir Jeremy was in control.

Astonishingly, this was Heywood’s first proper public grilling. To make it to Cabinet Secretary without submitting to this parliamentary wringer is like becoming head chef at the Savoy without ever having cooked quenelles. But Jeremy Heywood is not a front-line Freddie. He has been a Treasury high flier, head of policy at the Cabinet Office, a fixer for prime ministers since John Major. He has never run a big-spending department. Far too exposed. Please. That sort of thing is for the bungling Bob Kerslakes of this world.

Sir J. Heywood is a backstairs Bertie, a smudger, a whisper-in-the-PM’s-ear sort who shrivels from public view. The worry for Conservatives, and the rest of us, is that this shrewd murmurer, this eminence grease, has acquired unprecedented power over not only the Prime Minister but also Nick Clegg, Cabinet, the coalition and much of the rest of the state apparat.

There is talk of Heywood obstructing secretaries of state, shafting Camerons and organising Downing Street to his own convenience. We have gone beyond ‘Yes, Minister’ and now have ‘Yes, Sir Jeremy’. Worryingly, no one seems more in hock to him than our soigné, someone -take -care – of – that PM. The Camerons are dying like bees. Andy Coulson is long gone. The Wade-Brookses have also been swept away by Hackgate. Other parts of the Chipping Norton set are in retreat. Steve Hilton is fleeing to California.

Heywood remains. He is steering policy, attending daily strategy meetings, sitting next to ‘DC’ at Cabinet, shimmering with purpose. If Heywood disapproves of a project, it disappears from Cameron’s in-tray. One Cabinet minister says, “We cannot have a referendum on who runs Britain because the answer will be the same whether we leave the EU or not: Jeremy Heywood.” And what is Sir Jeremy’s agenda? Well, that’s a complicated question, Minister. He’s certainly no friend of the Tory heartlands or of the right wing of the PM’s party. Though Heywood presents himself as a reformer his mission seems to be to make sure no bill has a discernibly Tory twang. He’s also a stickler for European law, much energised by the importance of keeping the Lib Dems sweet. It is almost as if his main job, these days, is to keep Nick Clegg happy. To those readers who still hope the PM will one day show himself a sturdier Conservative, I’m afraid the truth (as a Westminster insider rather indelicately puts it) is that, “Heywood has Cameron by the balls, but as it’s anyway in Dave’s nature to do whatever he’s told by civil servants, that suits everyone!” http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/7714558/i-am-in-charge/

July 12 2013: Is Sir Jeremy Heywood squeezing out Whitehall’s top mandarin?

This morning’s car ride to work shared by Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood and Civil Service chief Sir Bob Kerslake may have been a rather silent one. Today’s Independent reports that Sir Bob’s job is under threat. Although the newspaper blames David Cameron for wanting to get rid of, “Bumbling” Bob. What does Heywood think? Sir Jeremy may silkenly protest his innocence of any plotting, and Downing Street indeed was officially denying the story last night, but he is not averse to the odd bit of Whitehall manoeuvring. Kerslake had taken some of the Cabinet Secretary’s old powers. The Londoner would never want to cause disharmony in the Whitehall limousine the two chaps share on their daily commute from the suburbs (how convenient for Heywood to be able to keep an eye on his colleague in this way) but there are some people who think Sir Jeremy has not been the most vocal advocate for Sir Bob.
http://www.standard.co.uk/news/londoners-diary/is-sir-jeremy-heywood-squeezing-out-whitehalls-top-mandarin-8705750.html

Sir Jeremy Heywood – Chinese Whispers – Is This Anyway to Run a Country?

November 30 2013: Jeremy Heywood leads a fresh offensive against Maude – so, what chance civil service reform?

With all that’s been happening this week, from policy flip-flops to floppy mustaches, you may not have noticed that war has broken out. So I’ll give you a rapid-fire briefing. The arena is Whitehall. The aggressors are senior civil servants. And the targets are certain Coalition ministers. I know what you’re probably thinking: “Yawn! Wake me up when there isn’t war along Whitehall.” But I’ve always thought that the idea of constant, vicious fighting between ministers and bureaucrats is overplayed, for reasons that I described in a post earlier this year. It’s rarely that bad… but this, this week, this is pretty bad.

So, what’s happened? It started on Monday with a story in The Independent about a chat between Jeremy Heywood, the Cabinet Secretary, and David Cameron. Apparently, Heywood was acting to, “save the career” of the DWP’s permanent secretary, Robert Devereux, who – it is claimed – has been the victim of a “concerted political briefing campaign” over the start-up failures of the Universal Credit. The article contained a richly ironic line about how Heywood believes that, “such conversations needed to take place in private and not through the newspapers”. He thinks, as well, that, “responsibility also lay with Iain Duncan Smith”. http://politicalscrapbook.net/2013/12/yet-more-evidence-that-iain-duncan-smith-lied-about-universal-credit-stephen-brien/

That may not sound too terrible: just Heywood defending one of his own, mostly. But then the situation was escalated by an item in Sue Cameron’s latest column for the Daily Telegraph. It began: “Is Sir Humphrey about to claim a scalp or two?” And continued with a passage that deserves the full italic treatment:

“Apparently our top civil servant, Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood, has already given the PM brutally frank advice about the role of Mr Maude and Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, in briefing against Robert Devereux, the most senior official overseeing Universal Credit. Sir Jeremy believes Mad Frankie and IDS are the problem, rather than Mr Devereux. No doubt both ministers will admire Sir Jeremy’s candour. Roll on the reshuffle!”

Which makes Heywood’s conversation with the Prime Minister sound altogether more bloodthirsty. It’s not just IDS; Francis Maude meets with his disapproval too. Did he push for them to be sacked? Does he want them to be sacked? but that would be awfully dodgy ground for an unelected Cabinet Secretary to be treading upon.

And before you think it’s all Heywood, a former Cabinet Secretary has also joined the fray. Today, Lord Butler is being interviewed on the BBC’s Week in Westminster – and, judging by the quotes that have been released in advance, he also harbor’s grievances about, “sniping” against senior civil servants. Perhaps his most biting line is, “I’m sorry to say, I really think that Mr Maude and some of his colleagues don’t understand leadership.”

I should say, at this point, that I have absolutely no enthusiasm for the backbiting and finger-pointing that goes on in Westminster. Lord Butler is on to something when he says that, “the relationship between ministers and the civil service works best when they work together in a mutually supportive relationship”.

But there’s still something perturbing about these latest complaints, particularly the ones involving Heywood. After all, it’s easy to see how they could run counter to the Coalition’s wider – and much needed – efforts to reform the civil service. If criticism of senior civil servants is regarded as beyond the pale, then what chance that the same civil servants will be made more accountable? If the Cabinet Secretary can go to such lengths to, “save the career” of a colleague, what does it mean for ministers having greater control over who they hire and fire? If Jeremy Heywood wants ministers sacked, who’s really in charge?

For his part, Francis Maude gave a speech to a group of civil servants yesterday – the Top 200 – which, it seems, dealt with some of the criticisms that are flying around. Among its themes, I’m told, was one he has sounded before, that the civil service is crammed full of brilliant people, but – often to their own chagrin – it doesn’t always allow them to capitalise on, or develop, that brilliance. He added that folk don’t want to be patronised by being told that everything is fine when it’s not. In that spirit, let’s just say that things aren’t all fine. A couple of months ago, it was backbenchers who were haranguing the Government over civil service reform. Now it’s back to the old order. The bureaucrats, at least some of them, are angry with their ministers. http://www.conservativehome.com/thetorydiary/2013/11/jeremy-heywood-leads-a-fresh-offensive-against-maude-so-what-chance-civil-service-reform.html

July 11 2014: Will Sir Cover-Up knife Francis Maude

There are whispers that Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood is keen that David Cameron moves minister Francis Maude from the Cabinet Office. Maude has been leading the Coalition Government’s spending cuts in Whitehall and is in charge of the drive to make the Civil Service less bureaucratic and obstructive. This has made him an object of considerable resentment among the mandarin class: ‘Sir Humphrey’ regards Maude as an intolerable vandal. The serpentine Heywood wants Maude moved — ‘anywhere… make him the Minister for Siberia!’ is the attitude, according to one Cabinet Office source — in a reshuffle that is expected next week. Mandarins know they would be able to run rings round a new minister. Maude’s glamorous special adviser, Simone Finn, is also regarded as a disruptive threat to top civil servants’ ‘club class’ existence. If he goes, she goes. Cameron is understood in the past to have told Heywood that ‘Francis is going nowhere’, but with the Government in its last year before a General Election, the mandarins’ power has never been greater. Will the PM see off Sir Jeremy’s sly little plan?

Jul 15 2014: With the removal of Sir Bob Kerslake, the reform of the Civil Service has gathered pace

The axing of Sir Bob Kerslake as part-time head of the Civil Service marks both a new departure in the reform of Whitehall and a return to the old Thatcherite model of a single, all-powerful figure who is both the PM’s right-hand mandarin and the ultimate boss of the nation’s bureaucrats. The announcement of the brutal restructuring at the very top of Whitehall has brought great sympathy for the able and well-liked Sir Bob, but also relief that Sir Jeremy Heywood is to combine his current job as Cabinet Secretary with being head of the Civil Service. The experiment of splitting the two jobs and of downgrading the latter by making it part time has failed – as many warned it would. The new arrangements are a recognition of this.

Downing Street has announced the creation of a new chief executive post at the centre of government but he or she will be answerable to Sir Jeremy as head of the Civil Service. The lines of accountability in Whitehall will once again be clear. This will be widely welcomed by the senior civil service though there are bound to be accusations that the already powerful Sir Jeremy is becoming even more influential.

Recruitment of the new chief executive, who will take over responsibility for Civil Service reform from Sir Bob, will be put in train this week though an appointment is not expected to be finalised until the autumn. The job is widely expected to go to an outsider with business experience. Certainly it will be an “open” competition which means anyone can apply but the Board will be chaired by Sir David Normington, the First Civil Service Commissioner, and it will be made on merit – the criterion for all senior Whitehall appointments ever since the abolition 150 years ago of what the Victorians called jobbery and we call cronyism. Making the Whitehall announcement in the middle of a ministerial reshuffle was probably the best way of playing it down. Many members of the public do not know the names of the ministers who are being moved and nor do they much care. Changes at the top of the Civil Service are likely to impinge on the national consciousness even less.

The new set-up offers something for both Whitehall traditionalists and the cabinet office minister Francis Maude. The latter has been going in for more or less open warfare with much of the rest of Whitehall, criticising civil servants in general for allegedly “blocking” his drive for Civil Service reform. He has also been accused of orchestrating briefing in the media against named officials, including Sir Bob. The two have barely been on speaking terms for some time. Plenty of people reckon Sir Bob was treated abominably and never given the room to lead. The angst that Sir Bob has had to endure could put off outsiders. Why put up with all the hassle and uncertainty of working with politicians? Good candidates may take some persuading to put their hats in the ring – particularly given the limits on senior civil service pay. If a suitable candidate is found, expect to see much greater centralisation of Whitehall – something which Mr Maude has battled for long and hard.
http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/suecameron/100280212/with-the-removal-of-sir-bob-kerslake-the-reform-of-the-civil-service-has-gathered-pace/

July 16 2014: Stop briefing against officials, ministers say, as head of civil service quits

Ministers must stop briefing against civil servants, ministers have said, after the head of the civil service quit blaming unfair briefings against the officials. Number 10 announced at the height of the Cabinet reshuffle earlier this week that Sir Bob Kerslake, who has run the civil service for two years, is leaving this Autumn. Sir Bob has been both Head of the Home Civil Service and permanent secretary at the Department for Communities and Local Government since 2012. He will retire from the Civil Service in February next year when he turns 60. In a blog reflecting on his time in Whitehall, published on the Government’s official website after he resigned, Sir Bob attacked damaging personal briefings against civil servants. He said: “Less brilliant have been the ‘noises off’ criticizing civil servants and accusing them of being reluctant to change. “Such criticism is deeply unfair and I hope that I have done my bit to challenge it. You can though, be its biggest advocates, talking with pride to your friends outside about what we deliver on a daily basis.”

Sources close to Francis Maude, the Cabinet Office minister, said he would remind ministers not to engage in briefings against civil servants. One said: “There has been some unfair criticism [of him]. Francis does not think there should be briefing against civil servants or ministers. “We should conduct very candid conversations in private and that is the way to do things.” The job of Cabinet Secretary and head of the civil service was held by one civil servant until 2012 when it was split in two. Under changes announced this week ministers are now hunting in the private sector for a new chief executive in charge of the civil service. The new chief executive will report in to Sir Jeremy Heywood, the Cabinet secretary.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10971441/Stop-briefing-against-officials-ministers-say-as-head-of-civil-service-quits.html

July 15 2014: Anger over ‘political’ departure of civil service head Sir Bob Kerslake Whitehall mandarins ‘undermined’ by sudden announcement after whispering campaign and amid reshuffle

Senior civil servants have expressed anger at the way the government has handled the departure of the head of the civil service after two and a half years in the job. Sir Bob Kerslake is to resign in the autumn, to be replaced by Sir Jeremy Heywood, who will remain as cabinet secretary, according to an announcement on Tuesday, coinciding with the government reshuffle. The decision marks the end of a two-year experiment in which the civil service leadership was split. But the way the announcement was made – following a year-long whispering campaign against Kerslake inspired by ministerial aides – has undermined Whitehall’s mandarins, it was claimed. Dave Penman, the general secretary of the FDA, the senior civil servants’ union, said that Kerslake’s abrupt departure following a year of unsourced criticisms had damaged the relationship between his members and ministers. “The speculation around Sir Bob’s position – and the off-the-record briefings that have accompanied it – will have done little to reassure civil servants of politicians’ and ministers’ understanding of the qualities of leadership, which MPs themselves are often so quick to accuse public servants of lacking,” he said. “If the new role of chief executive is to succeed and genuinely deliver the pace of reform that the government says it wants, then it will need the support of ministers in departments as well as at the Cabinet Office.”

Penman’s comments have been echoed by Bernard Jenkin, the Tory chair of the public administration select committee, who said the briefings against Kerslake were “totally unacceptable”.
Jenkin said: “The committee warned that splitting the roles was unlikely to be a durable arrangement, and Sir Bob has had to face some exceptional challenges. The backstairs briefings against him were totally unacceptable. He has maintained a reputation for integrity and professionalism throughout,” he said.

David Cameron announced on Tuesday that a new chief executive role would be created to lead the government’s reform agenda, paving the way for a major reshaping of the civil service in the runup to the general election. Downing Street said that the recruitment process would begin shortly, with an announcement likely by the autumn. A chief executive of the civil service will be sought, a new post that ministers hope will produce clearer lines of accountability.

Kerslake, 59, will also stand down as permanent secretary of the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) in February. Known as “Whispering Bob”, Kerslake started his career in the Greater London Council and later worked for Hounslow council. He became the most senior civil servant at the DCLG in 2010 and head of the civil service in 2012. His departure follows a whispering campaign about his performance. Those close to ministers said he had failed to make progress on reform. Reports last year claimed that he was due to be sacked then, after his job was offered to other people by senior ministers. On Tuesday afternoon, there was speculation that the government was rushed into making the announcement of Kerslake’s departure following a report on Monday’s Newsnight programme which claimed that Kerslake had been sacked. Some expressed surprise that a broad overhaul of the civil service was announced in the middle of a reshuffle, because it implied that Kerslake’s departure was a political decision. In a blog posted on Tuesday morning, Kerslake confirmed his departure, praised his colleagues and took a swipe at critics of the civil service in what appeared to be a criticism of ministers, including Francis Maude. “The vast majority of civil servants work outside Whitehall, and one of the very best bits of my job has been travelling around the country visiting civil servants where they work. “Less brilliant have been the ‘noises off’ criticising civil servants and accusing them of being reluctant to change. Such criticism is deeply unfair and I hope that I have done my bit to challenge it,” he wrote. Heywood has been one of the most highly regarded civil servants for nearly two decades, serving both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. A No 10 spokesman said Kerslake had made a series of reforms to the civil service of which he could be proud. http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/jul/15/anger-over-resignation-of-top-civil-servant-bob-kerslake

Added comment:

August 6 2013: Douglas Carswell has plenty to say about civil servants and the power of the mandarins. With regard to EU matters he refers to the mandarins “who really run this country” and who “have run it into the ground” http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/douglascarswell

April 18 2012: Douglas Carswell raised concerns during prime minister’s questions that the government was being blocked in efforts to reform public services by an over-powerful civil service…..Carswell told HuffPost that he feared ministers had become hostage to a civil service that had its own agenda and wanted to stymie reform. “We have a political unit [in Downing Street] stuffed full of civil servants, and we find too often minsters are in fact departmental spokesman, and the departments run them.
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/04/18/douglas-carswell_n_1433930.html

February 8 2014: John Charlesworth said, my daughter with a masters degree entirely funded out of taxed income is unable to find a job. She suffers both coeliac and the related disease of diabetes, she has been told that she is running out of credit and will have to attend a food bank to help her live I then learn that this criminal IDS has spent £225,000 on each of the 3000 claimants already on Universal Credit. Don’t forget folks we are in it together and it’s called s,,t. When is this man going to be jailed. Don’t hold your breath.

Sir Jeremy Heywood – a perfect manifestation of everything that has gone so very wrong with the British civil service

Career Path of Sir Jeremy John Heywood

Sir Jeremy John Heywood, KCB, CVO (born 31 December 1961) is a senior British civil servant who has been the Cabinet Secretary since 1 January 2012, and Head of the Home Civil Service since September 2014. He previously served twice as the Principal Private Secretary to the Prime Minister, as well as the Downing Street Chief of Staff and the first and only Downing Street Permanent Secretary.

Heywood was educated at Bootham School, an independent school with a Quaker background and ethos in York, before taking a BA in History and Economics at Hertford College, Oxford and an MSc in Economics from the London School of Economics. He also studied for a semester at Harvard Business School, (management development 1994) then worked for a time with the International Monetary Fund in Washington DC.

His first job in the civil service was as an Economic Adviser to the Health and Safety Executive after which he transferred to HM Treasury in 1992 and became the Principal Private Secretary to Chancellor Norman Lamont at the age of 30, having to help mitigate the fallout from Black Wednesday after less than a month in the job. Sterling was in crisis and Norman Lamont was forced to announce a humiliating withdrawal from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism. That drama helped forge an early bond between Heywood and Lamont’s young adviser at the time, one David Cameron.

When Tony Blair took power in 1997, he brought in new appointments, such as his chief of staff Jonathan Powell. Yet Heywood, who became Principal Private Secretary to Prime Minister Tony Blair in 1999, still made himself indispensable in a crisis such as 9/11. Powell recalls Heywood’s, “preternatural calm”. While many top politicians have found Heywood a reassuring presence, his reputation among his civil service colleagues has not always been so positive.

In September 2002 the infamous, “Dodgy Dossier” was released by the UK Government which became the justification for the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Sir Jeremy Heywood was Principal Private Secretary to Tony Blair appointed in 1999. The dossier was flawed and made false allegations about the existence of WMD and nuclear programs in Iraq. Sir John Scarlett was chair of JIC, the Joint Intelligence Committee and he wrote to Tony Blair’s foreign affairs adviser David Manning about, “the benefit of obscuring the fact that in terms of WMD Iraq is not that exceptional”. In other words the dossier was misleading about Iraq’s capabilities. Sir Richard Dearlove, as ‘C’ Head of MI6 said he was misquoted in the, “Downing Street Memo” of a meeting about Iraq on 23 July 2002 saying it was, ” a misquotation of what I said, and what I said is not in the public record.” With so much confusion it is at least clear that the UK had been mobilized by the USA to justify George Bush’s desire to hit Saddam Hussein. Sir John Scarlett’s role in the Iraq affair emerged as being pro-US.

Sir Jeremy Heywood’s role as Blair’s private secretary in conducting government business was questioned. His critics accused him of being complicit in the culture of, “sofa government” in Blair’s Downing Street, citing evidence given to the Hutton Inquiry into the death, (murder or suicide) of Dr David Kelly that some of the key meetings between politicians and officials were not minuted during that period, a job he was required to do. He subsequently left the civil service in the wake of the Hutton Inquiry.

His years out of Whitehall as a banker between 2004 and 2007 also drew him into controversy. In 2006, he was a senior executive at bankers Morgan Stanley when it advised on the flotation of the, “Southern Cross” care homes provider. Although he did not work directly on the deal, he was the ultimate boss of the team which ran the float. Sir Jeremy, 50, was accused by the GMB union of being, “up to his neck” in the disaster which saw 31,000 elderly people put at risk of being made ­ homeless. The firm’s 750 homes were later rescued in a new deal.

When Gordon Brown became Prime Minister in 2007, Heywood returned to government as Head of Domestic Policy and Strategy at the Cabinet Office. Political commentator Peter Oborne, in the wake of this appointment described Heywood as, “a perfect manifestation of everything that has gone so very wrong with the British civil service over the past 15 years.” He went on to resume his old job of Principal Private Secretary, as well as being appointed the Downing Street Chief of Staff after the resignation of Stephen Carter.

In 2010, after David Cameron became Prime Minister, Heywood returned to the civil service. On 11 October 2011 it was announced that he would replace Sir Gus O’Donnell as the Cabinet Secretary, (The Cabinet Secretary is the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister’s most senior policy adviser and acts as Secretary to the Cabinet, responsible to all ministers for the running of Cabinet Government he is the highest-ranked official in the British Civil Service), upon the latter’s retirement in January 2012. It was also announced that Heywood would not concurrently hold the roles of Head of the Home Civil Service and Permanent Secretary for the Cabinet Office, as would usually be the case. These positions instead went to Sir Bob Kerslake and Ian Watmore respectively. On 1 January 2012, Heywood was knighted and officially made Cabinet Secretary. In July 2014 it was announced that Kerslake would step down and Heywood would take the title of Head of the Home Civil Service . Heywood was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in 2008, before being made a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) in the 2012 New Year Honours. The Parliamentary Public Administration Committee cited the example of Heywood’s knighthood as an automatic honour granted due to his position and not for exceptional service.

As Head of the Civil Service Heywood leads nearly half a million public servants who work in public institutions, administer tax, benefits and pensions systems and put government policy into practice. The civil service is a permanent, politically impartial workforce that serves the government of the day, while retaining the flexibility to serve future governments. Currently civil servants are supporting the government’s economic and public service reform. The scale of the challenges and persistent weaknesses require a reform plan that applies right across the civil service. The Head of the Civil Service is one of several senior civil servants accountable for the reform of the civil service through the Civil Service Board. But all is not well in the civil service. David Cameron in a recent speech, described civil servants as, “enemies of enterprise”. “There were suggestions that Jeremy Heywood may himself have been one of the instigators of the speech”, says film-maker and veteran Whitehall watcher Michael Cockerell.

Heywood has been involved in painful civil service changes – such as Treasury budget-cutting and job losses and there are those who claim he is too close to the politicians. “There may be some sense in the civil service,” said Michael Cockerell, “that Jeremy Heywood has lent too far towards pleasing his political masters”. Nick Pearce, who worked closely with Heywood under the last Labour government, expressed both admiration and anxiety: “For somebody like me who believes in decentralising and dispersing power… you don’t want one person to have so much power and influence, but I’m pleased it’s him”. He added a quip, “If we had a written constitution in this country, it would have to say something like, ‘Not withstanding the fact that Jeremy Heywood will always be at the centre of power, we are free and equal citizens’. That is the extent of his power.”