A massive clampdown on trade union activities in the civil service is to be announced at the Tory party conference in a move that will infuriate the largest civil service union, the PCS, and possibly threaten attendance at its annual conference.
Ministers are to be given formal input into the annual appraisal of their civil servants – affecting their grade and bonuses – in a fresh drive to clarify the accountability of officials to the government.
One of the most senior civil servants in Whitehall resigned suddenly on Thursday night, the Guardian has learned, amid allegations of serious problems at the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc), headed by the Liberal Democrat Ed Davey.
Britain's most senior civil servant has warned that public spending cuts could last a decade, highlighting the challenge of removing Britain's record peacetime structural budget deficit.
The prospect of a cull of government ministers has been raised by an overhaul of Whitehall departments under which no area of civil service work will go unchallenged.