Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Gordon Brown's 'yesman' Gus O'Donnell set to 'retire' in one or two years, quango circuit or Houses of Lords for next payday?

Dear All

One of the things about the civil service is how political it has become.

Someone who could be said to be a poster boy for that development is Gus O’Donnell.

Prior to the election, I predicted that O’Donnell wouldn’t last the course in a Tory Government and I was correct.

O’Donnell is Britain’s top civil servant but he is set to step down during the course of the current parliament.

He was very much seen as Labour’s man and will be remembered as such.

Although he was alleged to be to retire at the General Election he agreed to stay on and oversee the transition to coalition government.

So, what now?

He in my opinion wouldn’t be retiring, a place will be found for him on the quango circuit or perhaps a peerage to the House of Lords.

One way or another, he will be accessing taxpayer’s cash again.

He isn’t however quitting imminently so this suggests that he is hanging on to look for suitable posts and the best place to network is where he currently is.

Seen as Gordon Brown’s man, he took over as head of the civil service in 2005 having been at the Treasury before that.

A Government spokesman said:

“Sir Gus O’Donnell is remaining as Cabinet Secretary. He agreed to stay on beyond the General Election to oversee an orderly transfer of government. The Prime Minister is delighted that Sir Gus has now agreed to continue to serve as Cabinet Secretary, and looks forward to him continuing to fulfil that role with distinction.”

That sounds awfully hollow for an endorsement.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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