Magazine article Public Finance

Mandarin Hints at Separate Civil Service for Scotland

Magazine article Public Finance

Mandarin Hints at Separate Civil Service for Scotland

Article excerpt

Permanent secretary Sir John Elvidge has come under fire from Opposition parties after disclosing that talks are taking place on the creation of a separate Scottish civil service.

In what is seen as a significant change in relationships between Edinburgh and London, Elvidge revealed that the election of the Scottish National Party government has ended the informal contacts between the Executive and Whitehall.

Asked about relations with Whitehall, Elvidge replied: 'They understand they can't expect me to tell them the thoughts of this government and that I don't expect them to tell me the thoughts of the UK government until we are in a process of discussion about a particular thing. It changes the nature of the conversation: it makes it a bit more formal. It is working for a separate government. There isn't much ambiguity about that.'

Elvidge confirmed that he is taking forward the SNP manifesto plans for the creation of a separate Scottish civil service. …

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