Uncovered: The top official responsible for the British Coronavirus response stops amid the growing sharpness between Downing Street and the Whitehall machine
- The respected Mandarin Tom Shinner is the latest high profile personality to leave
- No ten insiders insisted that Mr. Shinner's work was only a temporary delegation
- A friend said that he was contractually obliged to return to work at a start-up
The official who was drafted for the British pandemic's response has quit, as The Mail can show on Sunday.
The respected Mandarin Tom Shinner is the youngest high profile personality to announce his retirement after the Covid 19 crisis.
After Mr. Shinner as “Mr. Big of Brexit, ”he returned to the government in April after making government preparations for a possible no-deal exit.
The respected Mandarin Tom Shinner (pictured) is the youngest high profile personality to announce his retirement after the Covid 19 crisis
At the time, Whitehall magazine Civil Service World said that his appointment was "at the personal request of Cabinet Secretary Sir Mark Sedwill."
Boris Johnson released Sir Mark from his role as chief of public service last month amid the growing sharpness between Downing Street and the Whitehall machine.
Last night, no 10 insiders insisted that Mr. Shinner's work was only a temporary delegation and that the response to the pandemic was gradually "waning".
A friend said he was contractually obliged to return to his job at a startup.
However, a Whitehall source said, "There is an uncomfortable feeling in the building that those who have been directly involved in the past few months are running short of the inevitable post-mortem."
Mr Johnson has acknowledged that the coronavirus crisis and high death toll in the UK will be subject to extensive investigation in the coming months.
The Prime Minister is expected to become increasingly frustrated with Sir Mark's handling of the unfolding horror and lack of preparation in Britain.
An ally told The Times yesterday, “One of the most important things was that when Covid emerged as a major threat in February, a plan was requested and there was no plan. This is despite the fact that it has been at the top of the risk register since 2008.
"Where was the plan? Why wasn't the person responsible for the risk register – not just the cabinet secretary but also the national security advisor – on top? That is his job. "
Sir Mark explicitly refused to say that his departure was voluntary, and it later turned out that he had received a £ 250,000 payout.
Sir Mark (pictured) explicitly refused to say that his departure was voluntary, and it later turned out that he had received a £ 250,000 payout
Legal experts said the amount of Sir Mark's contribution to the pension fund indicated a potential risk of legal action behind the scenes.
Labor law specialist Tim Goodwin, lawyer at 12 King’s Bench Walk, said yesterday that "the most likely purpose of the payment is to settle claims that Sir Mark has threatened to bring to the labor court."
Mr. Goodwin added: “In this context GBP 250,000 is very high. The upper limit for an application for unfair dismissal is £ 88,519. In order for his application to be worth more, it must be a whistleblowing or discrimination claim.
"We do not know what advice the Prime Minister has received, but that he calls the deal" good value for money "suggests that he has been told that Sir Mark's claim is strong and that he would likely receive one significant sum.
"Given the likely cost of defending the claim and the relatively low rates that the government pays to external lawyers, I don't think this is a compensation payment just to avoid legal costs."
The government is currently in a bitter legal battle with Sir Philip Rutnam, the former head of the Home Office, who resigned in February, citing a constructive dismissal.
Downing Street has refused to discuss the exact details of Sir Mark's departure, apart from the fact that the decision to leave the company was made with Mr. Johnson.
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