Katy Balls Katy Balls

Cummings offers a glimpse of the incoming Whitehall revolution

Over the parliamentary recess, there’s been much speculation over what the government’s mooted Whitehall revamp will mean in practice. Part of the plans include a shake-up of the current government departments – the Home Office is expected to be divided, with immigration taken out, while there are plans to beef up the business department. However, the more significant changes will likely take longer to bring into force. Plans are being drawn up to rewire government, change the way the civil service works and ultimately transform the public sector.

Today Boris Johnson’s senior advisor Dominic Cummings has offered a taste of things to come. In a blog post, Cummings has called on members of the public to apply to work in Downing Street. While Cummings does find time to praise some of the ‘fantastic officials’ working in government, he says there are ‘profound problems at the core of how the British state makes decisions’ which need to be addressed and criticises the lack of genuine expertise and diversity of thought. This is somethings Cummings has been considering long before entering Downing Street under Boris Johnson – it’s also an issue he took time to think about during the election, with the Tory campaign led by Isaac Levido.

The election result means that the Conservatives now have the space to make such changes. As Cummings puts it, a majority of 80 means that this is ‘a new government with a significant majority and little need to worry about short-term unpopularity while trying to make rapid progress with long-term problems’. So, what skills are in demand in the new No. 10? Team Johnson are looking for candidates who roughly fall into the categories of data scientists and software developers, economists, policy experts, project managers, communication experts, junior researchers and – finally – weirdos and misfits with odd skills (read the full blog here).

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