Boris Johnson today praised Sir Mark Sedwill's "incredible service" when he had to dodge questions about whether he was forced into a power struggle with Dominic Cummings.
The Prime Minister insisted that the cabinet secretary "had seen the government through all sorts of things" since taking office two years ago – and indicated that he could make a contribution in the future.
However, in an interview with Times Radio, he declined the "briefing" of adjutants and the heart of Whitehall over the past few weeks about the future of the country's highest official.
The comments came under the claim that Mr. Johnson is looking for a Brexiteer to succeed Sir Mark who will receive a peerage and a civil service payout when he resigns later this year.
The 55-year-old British top official confirmed yesterday evening that after more than 30 years in government service, he will step down in September as both cabinet secretary and national security advisor.
Sir Mark Sedwill (pictured today in Westminster) has confirmed that after more than 30 years in government service, he will step down in September as both Cabinet Secretary and National Security Advisor
Boris Johnson insisted that the cabinet secretary (pictured right along with Dominic Cummings in June last year) had "seen the government through all sorts of things" since taking office two years ago, and hinted that he could make a contribution in the future
Mr. Johnson dodged questions as to whether Sir Mark's departure was linked to a power struggle with Dominic Cummings (pictured leaving his home in London today)
Sir Mark's departure is only a few days after Mr. Cummings has reportedly told government advisers that "heavy rain is coming" at Whitehall – an obvious sign of the radioactive shower following a nuclear explosion.
He is said to have advised Mr. Johnson to fire the former diplomat late last month after clashes over the scope and timing of the scheduled overhaul.
But Mr. Johnson and Mr. Mark ended his departure at a private lunch on June 2nd and agreed to try to call the departure consensual.
Amid a backlash from unions and former mandarins, David Frost, the Prime Minister's EU negotiator, is set to serve as the new national security advisor.
In his interview today, Mr. Johnson said: “Sir Mark has done an incredible service to this country. He came in at a very difficult time.
& # 39; He has led the government through all sorts of very difficult things – changes in the Prime Ministerial, an election, Brexit, that is dealing with the worst parts of the Covid crisis. He has a lot more to offer and I am sure he will. & # 39;
He downplayed suggestions that Sir Mark had been the subject of a series of negative media briefings.
"I try not to read too much of the negative briefing. There are a lot of things in the newspapers that I wouldn't automatically assign the highest credibility to, ”he said.
“People inform the newspapers about everything. I can only tell you that Mark is an excellent servant of this country and will continue to do so. & # 39;
Secretary of Education Gavin Williamson did not deny that Mr. Johnson would seek a Brexiteer to replace Sir Mark as Cabinet Secretary.
He told BBC Radio 4's Today program: "The Prime Minister's quest is to get the best person in this role, and applications will be submitted next month to get the highest caliber to slip into big shoes . "
Mr. Williamson insisted that it was not uncommon for a special adviser like Mr. Frost to be appointed a national security advisor.
"You see that in the US, you see that in many other countries," he said.
“This is a man with impeccable public service, a background that similar people who have held this role in the past have been taking for a terribly long time at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, unusual date. & # 39;
Prime Minister Dominic Cummings is preparing to put an ax in public service after the corona virus has exposed "fundamental" deficiencies in the government machine
Bob Kerslake, a former head of the civil service, along with civil servants' union number 10 or the surrounding people, accused of working to "undermine" the ex-diplomat.
Speaking to the Guardian, Lord Kerslake said: "I'm afraid some of the press conferences that have apparently taken place fear that the civil service will be made to fall for mistakes in dealing with the pandemic."
FDA Secretary General Dave Penman, who represents officials, said, "No. 10 or the surrounding people have attempted to undermine Sir Mark and the civil service leadership with a series of anonymous briefings against him for many months. & # 39; He criticized the tactic as "caustic and cowardly" and said the withdrawal would "weaken" the government.
(tagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) News (t) Dominic Cummings (t) Boris Johnson