It did seem too much to ask that the mandarin known as GOD (for his initials, supposedly) would be replaced by one mere mortal.
Instead when Sir Gus O’Donnell will leave the Civil Service at the end of the year – as was announced this morning- the job will be divided into three.*
Sir Gus spent 32 years in the civil service, including six years as Cabinet Secretary and three years as Permanent Secretary to the Treasury. He has just been nominated for a life peerage.
The three successors are:
1] Jeremy Heywood, currently Permanent Secretary at No. 10, will become Cabinet Secretary – combining the two jobs.
2] A new “head of the civil service” will take over the admin responsibilities for the whole of Whitehall. Sir David Normington is to launch an internal competition to recruit this person.
3] The Cabinet Office will have a new, dedicated permanent secretary. It is Ian Watmore, currently head of the Cabinet Office’s ‘efficiency and reform’ group.
* Although No 10 has been in touch to say that technically, there will be fewer permanent secretaries as a result of the reshuffle