I understand that Simon Case, who was private secretary to Prince William, is now the No. 10 permanent secretary. This is a newly created role and Case will have specific responsibility for Covid.
Case knows his way around Whitehall, he was Theresa May’s principal private secretary. The thinking behind the appointment is that Case will give No. 10 more of a grip on the cross-government response to Covid. There will now be someone who is clearly in charge the implementation and delivery of policy. The hope is that he will give Boris Johnson some of what Jeremy Heywood gave David Cameron when he was his No. 10 permanent secretary.
One of the oddities of the British form of government has always been how small No. 10 is compared to some other parts of Whitehall. A No. 10 permanent secretary will give the centre more muscle. But institutional changes are always difficult at the best of times, let alone in a crisis.