"There's no way he could have carried on" Tom Swarbrick on Civil Service chief's resignation

29 June 2020, 13:00 | Updated: 29 June 2020, 13:01

By Seán Hickey

Tom Swarbrick commended the work of his former colleague Mark Sedwill, but said an overhaul in Whitehall is now badly needed.

Sir Mark Sedwill was Cabinet Secretary, head of the Civil Service and served as National Security Adviser until he announced on Sunday that he will step down.

A former colleague of Tom Swarbrick, he told listeners that Sir Mark "always came across as a very good man who was putting public service at the heart of what he did and he was clearly experienced."

He added that the former Civil Service head "was there for some horrific moments like the terror attacks that happened both in London and Manchester and the poisoning of the Skripals which was a major global event by the Russian GRU."

Simultaneously standing as Head of the Civil Service and as National Security Adviser, Tom insisted that "there's no way he could have carried on doing both jobs."

Sir Mark Sedwill is set to step down from his post after an announcement on Sunday
Sir Mark Sedwill is set to step down from his post after an announcement on Sunday. Picture: PA

Tom went on to hint that the resignation marks an opportunity for Whitehall to conduct a mass overhaul.

"The National Security Council and the National Security apparatus in Whitehall does need some serious serious change."

Tom pointed out that issues have been clear in Whitehall since the coronavirus hit the UK. "It doesn't seem that in ten years, the National Security Council considered a policy response to a pandemic, ever.

Despite a pandemic being the tier one national threat...they don't seem to have spoken about how to deal with it once which is, you know, a bit of an oversight to put it politely."