Skip to main content

Senior Civil Servants: Resignations

Question for Cabinet Office

UIN 70302, tabled on 7 July 2020

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many (a) Permanent Secretaries and (b) Cabinet Secretaries have left their posts in each of the last 15 years.

Answered on

16 July 2020

Lord Turnbull served as Cabinet Secretary from 2002 to 2005, Lord O'Donnell from 2005 to 2011, Lord Heywood of Whitehall from 2011 to 2018, and Sir Mark Sedwill from 2018.

Over the last fifteen years various permanent secretaries have left their posts including to other roles; some held more than one role during this period.

In 2014 the Coalition Government agreed that all new Permanent Secretaries (SCS4-level appointments) would be made on the basis of a 5 year fixed tenure, and that there would be no automatic presumption in favour of renewal.

The table below relates only to substantive first and second permanent secretaries; it does not include Directors General assigned on a short-term basis to cover temporary vacancies. It therefore includes the permanent secretary of the Department of Energy and Climate Change who left during the time while the Member for Kingston and Surbiton was Secretary of State, but not an official who left having filled the role on a temporary basis. Members of the Diplomatic Service, other than the Permanent Secretary to FCO, are also not included.

2005

12

2011

10

2017

9

2006

6

2012

8

2018

3

2007

11

2013

6

2019

7

2008

7

2014

4

2020 (to June)

6

2009

4

2015

9

2010

8

2016

4

Answered by

Cabinet Office
Named day
Named day questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.