Times letters: Whitehall power grab and ‘fobbing off’ the public | Comment

Sir, Clearer responsibilities in the centre of government would be a good thing (“PM takes direct control in Whitehall power grab, May 20). However, it is not obvious from the sketchy details available that the prime minister’s proposed changes will make that happen. A loss of confidence from ministers in the centre as an honest broker will only damage decision-making, and so would a weaker government modernisation and reform unit, or indeed a national security secretariat under the direct control of No 10 officials. The cabinet secretary, not Downing Street, must maintain a central leadership role in the civil service. And in any case we should not expect changes to organisational structure to alter this administration’s character — that comes from the prime

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