The 'toxic legacy' of Dominic Raab's departure: Debate over effect of Deputy PM's departure on Civil Service

23 April 2023, 11:03 | Updated: 24 April 2023, 09:49

Two opposing views on what Raab saga means for civil service

By Georgina Greer

Editor of the Effective Governance Forum Tim Knox and former head of the Civil Service Bob Kerslake discuss their opposing views on what Dominic Raab's resignation means for the Civil Service.

Andrew Castle debated the repercussions of Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab's resignation with the two guests on Sunday.

Editor of the Effective Governance Forum Tim Knox gave a scathing take on the "whole Raab saga."

He said: "It is indicative of a much larger problem within the Civil Service and that is that it is simply not doing the job that we all want it to do.

"It is very difficult to find any area of government which has been effectively implemented almost this whole millennium."

Mr Knox blamed the problem on "management" stating that "actual administration" takes "second place to all political issues".

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Andrew Castle then brought in the former head of the Civil Service Bob Kerslake and questioned: "Is it right we challenge the Civil Service in this way? It doesn't seem to be working, management is considered to be poor, productivity is low, do you accept that?"

Mr Kerslake replied: "No I don't, of course, it is right to challenge the Civil Service, it can and should do better but there is a lot that is good about the Civil Service.

"I think the big issue here is the toxic legacy of the angry departure of Dominic Raab."

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Mr Kerslake told Andrew the tone of Mr Raab's resignation risks a "bad relationship" between the government and civil service which would be "bad for the country".

He stated: "We need to move on."

Then concluding: "We need to recognise the scale of the challenges the country faces and get the Civil Service working with the government to tackle those issues."