» Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Downing Street Appointments

Asked for more information on the departure of Tom Scholar and the arrival of Jeremy Heywood, the Prime Minister’s Spokesman (PMS) told the assembled press that when Mr Scholar came back from Washington in June, it was always the intention that this would be a transitional appointment to help deal with the early period of Mr Brown’s premiership, with him then going onto the Treasury.

Given the uncertainty in global financial markets, that has become a more pressing issue, so Mr Scholar would take up the post of Managing Director International and Finance, with particular responsibility for domestic and global financial markets and institutions. When asked, the PMS said that this would happen with immediate effect.

Asked to explain Jeremy Heywood’s position, the PMS said that Mr Heywood was already at Permanent Secretary level in the Cabinet Office and he would be coming over to Downing Street at the same level, but would have the same responsibilities as Tom Scholar. Mr Heywood would be the most senior civil servant in Downing Street and would be responsible for managing civil servants, working alongside Stephen Carter who managed the political side.

Asked if people were seeing the creation of a Prime Minister’s Department, the PMS said that was not the case. Jeremy Heywood would report to Gus O’Donnell and would continue to be part of the Cabinet Office Board. It was not unusual for departments to have more than one Permanent Secretary; in fact the Cabinet Office, in addition to Gus O’Donnell had four, the others being Alex Allan, Chairman of the JIC, Howell James, responsible for Government Communication and Jon Cunliffe.

Other department’s, for example the Treasury have traditionally had more than one person at Permanent Secretary level. There had been no change in the relationship between the Cabinet Office and No10 and there was no new department being created or anything of that nature. Put that this was the first time there had been a Prime Minister’s Principle Private Secretary who was in fact a Permanent Secretary, the PMS said he had not had an opportunity to go back over all of the records.

Asked if this would have a knock-on effect whereby others at the same level would be moving positions, the PMS replied that clearly the senior appointments in Downing Street were a matter of public interest and that was why we normally made announcements about them, but he did not want to get into discussions about more junior staff in Downing Street. Asked if there were other changes in the offing, the PMS said that organisations always evolve, but as he had said, we had seen two senior changes in recent weeks. If there were any other announcements, we would make those announcements.

Asked what Tom Scholar would be doing at the Treasury that was so important, the PMS said that Tom Scholar would be the Managing Director International and Finance and he would have particular responsibility for domestic and global financial markets and institutions, which was clearly a big issue at the moment. Asked if the role was also about coordination with other financial institutions, the PMS said that it was, among other things.

Put that part of Tom Scholar’s remit would be to implement some of things talked about by the Prime Minister in his speech in India, the PMS replied that these would all be matters for the Treasury, but he was sure those were the sorts of issues that Tom would be involved in.

Asked if anyone had held the post of Managing Director before, the PMS said it was a new post at senior level. Asked if there was any significance attached to the loss of the job title "Chief of Staff," the PMS advised people not to read anything into it. Asked if there would be a new Permanent Secretary responsible for domestic policy, the PMS replied that these were all matters for the Cabinet Secretary to decide on in the period ahead.

Asked why Tom Scholar was only a temporary appointment in such a pivotal position, the PMS replied that we did not normally announce individual’s private intentions. As the PMS had said, he had been asked the background to this and that was the background. Put that it was in recognition of things not going to plan before Christmas, the PMS said that it was a recognition that there was an important job to do at the Treasury and that’s what Mr Scholar would be doing.

original source.

Briefing took place at 16:45 | Search for related news

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Post a public comment

(You must give an email address, but it will not be displayed to the public.)
(You may give your website, and it will be displayed to the public.)


This is not a way of contacting the Prime Minister. If you would like to contact the Prime Minister, go to the 10 Downing Street official site.

Privacy note: Shortly after posting, your name and comment will be displayed on the site. This means that people searching for your name on the Internet will be able to find and read your comment.

Downing Street Says...

The unofficial site which lets you comment on the UK Prime Minister's official briefings. About us...


January 2008
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
« Dec   Feb »

Supported by


Disruptive Proactivity

Recent Briefings



Syndicate (RSS/XML)



Contact Sam Smith.

This site is powered by WordPress. Theme by Jag Singh