Tag Archives: gus o’donnell

Former top civil servant Gus O’Donnell explains why he’s voting Lib Dem in the European elections

It’s been really lovely to have all the celebrity endorsements we’ve had in recent days – Katy Brand, Emma Kennedy, Susan Penhaligon, Bamber Gascoigne, Greg Dyke and Simon Callow.

However, when people who know exactly how government works urge a Liberal Democrat vote, then it’s really getting serious.

For six years, Gus O’Donnell served as Cabinet Secretary, the highest ranked civil servant in the country, under three Prime Ministers, Blair, Brown and Cameron.

He now sits in the House of Lords.

In an unprecedented article for Times Red Box (£), he explains why he feels it is his “civil duty” to vote Liberal Democrat on Thursday:

I have made clear that since the executive and parliament have so far failed to find an acceptable form of Brexit, I reluctantly believe the only way to bring the country together is to give the people the chance to approve any final deal in a referendum. My view remains that leaving the EU is on balance bad for the country for economic reasons and because of its impact on our global influence.

So I would be supporting Remain in such a vote, which brings us to the European elections. I am extremely disappointed that while the Brexit party is an obvious choice for dedicated Leavers the Remain vote is potentially spread across many parties.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 14 Comments

Blair criticised by top civil servant for keeping Iraq legal advice from Cabinet

The Guardian reports:

The country’s most senior civil servant … said the cabinet should have been told of the attorney general’s doubts about the legality of invading Iraq before Tony Blair went to war.

“The ministerial code is very clear about the need, when the attorney general gives written advice, the full text of that advice should be attached “, Sir Gus O’Donnell told the Iraq inquiry.

The clear implication of his evidence is that Blair breached the code of conduct ministers have a duty to uphold.

You can read the full story here.

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 3 Comments
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  • User AvatarMichael BG 25th Jun - 1:58am
    Joseph, I think it was very clear that I was talking about government capital spending financed from borrowing and not tax increases when I wrote,...
  • User AvatarMalcolm Todd 25th Jun - 12:48am
    Joseph Bourke I don't know about you (or Peter M, for that matter) but that doesn't sound like real "income" to me - in the...
  • User AvatarNigel Ashton 25th Jun - 12:43am
    Geoff Tordoff was Chair of the Liberal Party when I was first elected to the National Executive Committee in 1979. He was an outstanding Liberal...
  • User AvatarKatharine Pindar 25th Jun - 12:31am
    David is so right about the urgent need for increased spending on social care. The cutbacks may even have contributed to a fall in life...
  • User AvatarMike Read 24th Jun - 11:57pm
    1st August is the date.
  • User AvatarDavid Becket 24th Jun - 11:14pm
    You could not publish articles like this in a newspaper. If they were printed the publishers would be in trouble. The same law should apply...