Exclusive: Bernard Gray appointed new head of defence procurement

A big announcement is about to be made by the Ministry of Defence.

Bernard Gray — the former Labour adviser and author of a high profile report into defence acquisition — will be taking over as chief of defence materiel.

This ends a year long search to fill the most important procurement post in the MoD and brings an iconoclast into the heart of Whitehall’s most dysfunctional department.

Gray’s scathing report, published last year, went down very badly with the MoD old guard. Indeed some people joke that his arrival as CDM may spark an exodus that will solve the MoD’s headcount problem.

There is no doubt that this is a strong signal of intent from Liam Fox and David Cameron. Change has arrived at the MoD, whether the officials like it or not.

Gray has a lot on his plate. There are hundreds of contracts to cancel and renegotiate, tough efficiency targets to reach and a reorganisation to oversee that will shed some 25,000 civilian staff.