The government’s civil service advisor is considering plans to increase the “politicisation” of Whitehall, in the wake of Dominic Raab’s resignation following a report into bullying claims.
Maude, who is working on a Whitehall governance review and set to report into Rishi Sunak, suggested ministers could have greater powers to appoint their own civil servants, including those with public political links.
It comes after the deputy prime minister and justice secretary resigned with a scathing letter warning of a “dangerous precedent” which will “encourage spurious complaints”.
Independent lawyer Adam Tolley KC’s report upheld two of the eight allegations against Raab and said he had engaged in “abuse or misuse of power” and had been “intimidating and insulting”.
Raab denies bullying and said the bar for what amounts to this was too low.
Parliament’s standards commissioner is now facing calls for an inquiry into Raab’s conduct as an MP, the Observer reports, while the Lib Dems have urged Sunak to withdraw the whip.
Alex Chalk has been appointed justice secretary following Raab’s resignation.
Speaking on Sky News Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme, Oliver Dowden, who has replaced Raab as deputy prime minister, said he had “promised that if there was an adverse finding against him, he would resign… I know Dom is a man of his word and he resigned, and as the prime minister said I think that was the right thing to have done.”
And he told the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg the government should “look at our processes” around dealing with complaints against ministers.
“In the end, senior civil servants and senior ministers are united in the goal of serving the British people,” Dowden said.
“I do think that out of the report there is a need to look at our processes around that. That is why we will be looking at it to see whether we can make it simpler, fairer and less complex.”