Whitehall

Europe Minister David Lidington. Picture: PA

Butter up the judges, release some prisoners: how David Lidington can survive as Justice Secretary

13 June 2017 17:03

Liz Truss, I think it’s fair to say, was miscast as justice secretary. She was appointed only last July by Theresa…

Man arrested in Whitehall on suspicion of terrorism offences

27 April 2017 15:48

A man in his late twenties has been arrested on Whitehall today and is being detained under the terrorism act.…

Is the main purpose of the cabinet secretary to frustrate the PM?

19 March 2017 10:00

The minister’s private secretary wrote to another cabinet minister about the previous day’s cabinet meeting: They cannot agree about what…

Why are we handing gongs to people who are just doing their jobs?

31 December 2016 11:27

Every year closes with ‘fury’ as the press reacts to yet another honour for a ‘mandarin’ who has been doing…

Theresa May: ‘I get so frustrated with Whitehall’

11 December 2016 8:30

The Prime Minister’s office is a small, unimpressive room in 10 Downing Street with miserable views and unexceptional furniture. Since…

Exclusive: Whitehall prepares for a new cull

17 August 2015 15:09

Government departments have started to prepare their staff for job losses ahead of this autumn’s spending review, Coffee House has…

Francis Maude is trying to undo some of the gumming up of Whitehall. Picture: Getty

One area where Labour and the Tories have started agreeing

11 February 2015 19:31

With less than three months to go to the election, politics is pretty partisan at Westminster at the moment as…

Freedom of speech is a sacred British value (and those who disagree can hop it)

9 February 2015 17:22

In the aftermath of last month’s Paris atrocities there was a remarkable piece in one of Denmark’s leading papers signed…

Does George Osborne really lock his office fridge at night?

18 November 2014 17:11

It seems the most exciting thing to come out of today’s Commons press gallery lunch with Danny Alexander was the…

David Cameron is a Tory, not a radical. Which is both a strength and a problem.

16 June 2014 13:07

There is much to enjoy in Dominic Cummings’ glorious attack on the ghastliness of Britain’s political system. It is a…

Whitehall is falling in on Nick Clegg

13 May 2014 14:00

The Cold War that everyone in Westminster thought would never kick off is well and truly under way. Time was…

Podcast: Adapting to climate change, monogamy in gay marriage and new forms of electioneering

3 April 2014 8:41

Is the world finally realising it has to adapt to, rather than halt, climate change? On this week’s View from…

What is Alex Salmond’s plan for the currency now?

14 February 2014 13:05

Alex Salmond is now a man without a plan. He is offering Scots a future of uncertainty and instability. Threats…

With friends like these the Union has no need for enemies

6 February 2014 16:44

In the cover story for this week’s edition of the magazine (subscribe, by the way!) I write that “The battle…

Whitehall needs reform – and the Prime Minister needs to lead it

11 December 2013 13:41

James Forsyth is right. Whitehall does need reforming. But he is wrong to present this in stark terms of ministers…

How central government could slim down – and why it probably won’t

17 June 2013 13:58

The Treasury is entering its last minute negotiations with recalcitrant departments ahead of next week’s spending review announcement. But for…

Andrew Mitchell, friend of the civil service

10 June 2013 13:17

Tensions between some ministers and the civil service are at boiling point, with vicious briefings taking place on both sides.…

Culture wars

30 May 2013 15:46

Shadow arts minister Dan Jarvis set chins wagging today by suggesting that ‘well-placed sources in Whitehall’ had told him that…

DCMS permanent secretary Jonathan Stephens to leave post

14 May 2013 15:07

Jonathan Stephens, permanent secretary at the Culture, Media and Sport department, has today announced he is moving on, after a…

Ministers nudge policy unit into private sector

30 April 2013 22:20

The government’s ‘nudge unit’ has always been regarded as radical – or a bit wacky, depending on your outlook –…

Those defending the civil service hold the education department up as an example of radical reform being successful. But it hasn't been without its battles. Picture: Getty

War in Whitehall or plumbing problems?

18 January 2013 14:11

Is there really war in Whitehall? Tensions between ministers and civil servants have certainly spilled over at some departments, but…

The View from 22: Obama, the Pacific president

17 January 2013 8:32

On this week’s View from 22 podcast, the Spectator’s assistant editor Freddy Gray discusses his cover feature on Barack Obama,…

Whitehall sources see the Times investigation into the civil service as a 'watershed moment'. Picture: Getty

The Whitehall watershed moment

15 January 2013 16:55

Those pushing for reform of the civil service have been heartened still further today by the number of interventions from…

Hostilities deepen in Whitehall Wars

14 January 2013 17:50

‘The relationship between my civil servants and me is summed up by trust and understanding. I don’t trust them and…

Francis Maude is trying to undo some of the gumming up of Whitehall. Picture: Getty

The gumming up of Whitehall

17 December 2012 12:36

Tony Blair is paying a visit to journalists in the Commons this week for a festive lunch. Last week, David…