Sir Peter Gershon is the latest adviser to Labour who has jumped ship to the Tories. This morning George Osborne said he would oversee new efficiency cuts under a Tory government.
He hasn’t always been close to the Conservatives, however…
From the FT, 21st of July, 2004:
Sir Peter Gershon, whose efficiency review has led to plans for 75,000 civil service jobs to be cut along with another 15,000 in local government, told the Financial Times:
“I do think it is extremely unfortunate the way the Conservatives have chosen to utilise images [of] civil servants stereotyped as unproductive, bowler-hatted, bureaucrats.”
When Michael Howard, the Conservative party leader, and Oliver Letwin, the shadow chancellor, announced plans to axe even more jobs – 100,000 over five years – they were surrounded by cardboard caricatures of civil servants in bowlers, describing them as “hired hands”.
Sir Peter said:
“These people are human beings. They have feelings and families. They are doing very challenging jobs. Working in a job centre in an inner city is not a fun thing to do.” He added that the job reductions would be a result of “doing certain things more efficiently, not because there are a whole bunch of people sitting around twiddling their thumbs”.