Home U.S Michael Gove helps Priti Patel quell civil servant rebellion over Whitehall's work...

Michael Gove helps Priti Patel quell civil servant rebellion over Whitehall's work from home culture

70
0


Michael Gove helps Priti Patel quell civil servant rebellion over Whitehall’s WFH culture: Senior mandarins in power struggle as they ignore minister’s demands to get back to their desks

  • Michael Gove is supporting Priti Patel as tensions rise over the WFH stance
  • The top Home Office civil servant has let staff to work at home three day a week
  • Mr Gove ‘won’t take any nonsense’ in department meetings, said one source 

Michael Gove has been working more closely with the Home Office, as Priti Patel faces a power struggle with civil servants over plans to reduce home working.

The Communities Secretary and MP has been in meetings with Priti Patel and her team, as tensions rise over the work from home culture that developed during the pandemic.

Despite calls from ministers for mandarins to return to the office, the Home Office permanent secretary, Matthew Rycroft, has given staff the right to work at home three days a week, The Telegraph reported. 

Michael Gove has been working more closely with the Home Office, as Priti Patel faces a power struggle with civil servants over plans to reduce home working

Michael Gove has been working more closely with the Home Office, as Priti Patel faces a power struggle with civil servants over plans to reduce home working 

And the department’s job adverts describe a ‘hybrid’ work environment, where staff need only be in the office for 40 per cent of their time. 

‘Gove has been sitting next to Priti in meetings and the civil servants don’t like it, because he has a forensic grasp of the details and he won’t take any nonsense,’ a Whitehall source told the paper. 

Key issues are proving tense among colleagues, with Mr Gove being described as ‘a bit shouty’ by one source in the paper. 

Another source, close to Mr Gove, said that ‘difficult conversations’ have been happening in some of the meetings.  

Unofficial waiting times for adult passport renewals in the past two years, shown in a graph from passportwaitingtime.co.uk

Unofficial waiting times for adult passport renewals in the past two years, shown in a graph from passportwaitingtime.co.uk

People queue outside the customer entrance of the Passport Office headquarters in London's Victoria on Wednesday

People queue outside the customer entrance of the Passport Office headquarters in London’s Victoria on Wednesday

On Thursday, Mr Rycroft publicly supported the director-general of the Passport Office, Abi Tierney.

She has been partially working from home as the office faces a backlog of applications. 

The Home Office also published a ‘fact sheet’ stating that working from home has ‘no impact’ on the capacity to process passport applications. 

It comes as Jacob Rees-Mogg, minister for efficiency, has been leaving notes on civil servants’ desks when they are out of office.

It reads: ‘Sorry you were out when I visited, I look forward to seeing you in the office very soon.’

Jacob Rees-Mogg he left this note on the desks of civil servants working from home

Another Whitehall source has claimed in the Telegraph that the prime minister wants to see reports on the number of staff returning to the office each week, from different departments.

This has been met with ‘institutional fightback’, they said.

The Department for Education has agreed four days of office work per week. The the Cabinet Office asks for three, and the Department for Work and Pensions, and Ministry of Justice ask for two.

A spokesperson for the Government said: ‘Ministers and the Cabinet Secretary have been clear that they want government offices returning to full occupancy and all government departments are working hard to achieve this.

Ms Patel is facing challenge from civil servants on three areas — the approach to working from home, the Homes for Ukraine scheme and the Rwanda migrant plan

Ms Patel is facing challenge from civil servants on three areas — the approach to working from home, the Homes for Ukraine scheme and the Rwanda migrant plan

‘Departments should maximise the use of office space and their progress is being closely monitored.’  

Ms Patel is facing challenge from civil servants on three areas — the Homes for Ukraine scheme, the Rwanda migrant plan, and the approach to working from home. But she is being supported by Mr Gove. 

Sources close to Ms Patel believe civil servants ‘hate’ the Rwanda policy, and are trying to delay the new approach. 

Advertisement

Previous articleUkrainian Official Outlines Intentional Ambiguity on Strikes Inside Russia
Next article'Bit of a wind up' Prince William target of Prince Harry's controversial protection swipe

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here