Top civil servant to quit

BRITAIN’S?top civil servant Sir Gus O’Donnell will stand down within the next couple of years, long before the end of the parliament in 2015.

Sir Gus – known as God in Whitehall circles because of his initials and power – considered quitting immediately after the election but the Prime Minister convinced him to oversee the first few years of the coalition government.

Sources insisted Sir Gus would leave on good terms, pointing out he will have spent over seven years in charge of Whitehall by the time he leaves.?His predecessor Sir Andrew Turnbull lasted just three.

The mandarin rose to prominence as former Prime Minister Gordon?Brown’s favourite civil servant, a status that many thought would be incompatible with a Tory-led administration. But he impressed David Cameron with his handling of the complex coalition negotiations.