U-turn on civil service numbers says more about Tory electoral problems than effective governance

2 October 2023

The government has today u-turned on its commitment not to cut civil servant numbers by arbitrary amounts.

Whitehall Street Sign

Close up shot of a street sign fro Whitehall, London, SW1, this area is the centre of the British government and includes 10 Downing Street.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said that he wanted civil service numbers to return to pre-pandemic numbers, a return to the policy under previous Prime Ministers which has been abandoned in favour of an evidence-led approach.

Mike Clancy, General Secretary of Prospect, said:

“This latest u-turn shreds any remaining doubts about the Prime Minister’s lack of personal commitment to civil servants and will further undermine vital public services which are already struggling.

“We now have government ministers rushing out policies at Tory Conference in a desperate attempt to shore up their own support from the hard-right of their party.

‘This says more about the electoral problems facing the Conservative Party than it does about effectively running the country.

“As a union, we have demanded a meeting with ministers to convey the real sense of alarm among their own staff that ministers have unleashed with this dangerous announcement.”

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