Conservatives to take power to sack Whitehall mandarins

Conservative plans to end the civil service “job for life” culture could allow ministers to sack the senior officials who run Whitehall departments.

Under the plans, being overseen up by shadow Cabinet office minister Francis Maude, officials would be directly responsible for the performance of their departments.

Most senior officials would be moved to fixed-term contracts and their performance reviewed by ministers working with non-executive directors brought in from the private sector, reports the Telegraph.

Traditionally, under-performing permanent secretaries are not sacked, but either moved to another post or allowed to retire early.

Maude said: “We need public sector managers to be as accountable as those in the private sector.”

But Professor Kevin Theakston of the University of Leeds warned that these changes could “look like the covert politicisation of the civil service.”

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