UK's Top Official Sir Mark Sedwill Gets £250,000 Payoff For Standing Down

Sedwill is quitting his roles as cabinet secretary and national security adviser as part of Boris Johnson's overhaul of Whitehall.

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Britain’s top civil servant Sir Mark Sedwill will get a near-£250,000 payoff after quitting his dual roles at the top of government as part of Boris Johnson’s overhaul of Whitehall.

The prime minister confirmed that Sedwill will get a £248,189 pension contribution after stepping down as cabinet secretary and national security adviser.

Johnson issued a ministerial direction to make the payment in a minute to the permanent secretary at the Cabinet Office.

HuffPost UK

Sedwill’s “two hats” position at the top of Whitehall has long been controversial among some Tory MPs since the two roles were united and handed to him by Johnson’s predecessor as prime minister, Theresa May.

But his resignation drew strong criticism from the FDA civil servants’ union, who accused Johnson of forcing him out.

The PM’s decision to promote his chief Brexit negotiator David Frost to national security adviser has also caused angst among senior figures, given his lack of experience in intelligence and security.

Last week, May blasted Johnson for replacing Sedwill with Frost, saying he has “no proven expertise in national security”.

Speaking in the Commons, the former PM made a rare intervention over the controversial appointment of Frost, saying “expert, independent advice” was vital in government.

Sedwill’s departure came amid fears a wider shake-up of the civil service by the PM, spearheaded by Dominic Cummings and Michael Gove, will erode the impartiality of the civil service.

A search has begun to replace Sedwill as cabinet secretary.

When Sedwill announced his departure, FDA general secretary David Penman said: “No.10 - or those around it - has sought to undermine Sir Mark and the leadership of the civil service, with a series of anonymous briefings against him over many months. Not only is it a self-defeating and corrosive tactic, it’s also a cowardly one, safe in the knowledge that those who are briefed against are unable to publicly respond.

“How would any potential candidate for cabinet secretary judge their prospective employers, given how the current cadre of leaders has been treated by them?

“The danger here is that No.10 may have won this particular round of their power play, but at what cost?”

He added: “Whatever emerges as fact from the series of briefings that have sought to undermine Sir Mark’s position, this government will emerge weaker as a result.”


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