Steerpike Steerpike

Nicky Morgan hides in office as civil servant sacks Gove’s special advisers

New Education Secretary Nicky Morgan wasted no time in stamping her mark on her department – sacking all three of Michael Gove’s special advisers on Friday morning.

Friends tell Mr S that Henry Cook, Beth Armstrong and Jamie Martin were ‘keen to stay on in order to enable a smooth transition’, but it was not to be.

While a reshuffle often results in ministers’ aides getting the bullet too, the way in which Morgan has conducted her clear out has raised eyebrows in Westminster.

Morgan tasked senior civil servant Chris Wormald to do the dirty deed, expecting to be at the Chequers cabinet meeting on Friday morning. However, with the meeting cancelled because of the crisis in the Ukraine, Morgan returned to London. Wormald sacked Martin and Cook, while the Secretary of State hid in her office. Beth Armstrong was on holiday.

Cold, even by political standards.

UPDATE: One of the three spads involved telephones Mr S to tell him that they had an amicable conversation with Morgan later that day, presumably on the way out, and there are no hard feelings.

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