Boris Johnson's Government Has Lost Another Top Civil Servant

    “The grown-ups are gone,” a Whitehall source told BuzzFeed News after the resignation of senior mandarin Clare Moriarty.

    Boris Johnson’s government has lost its second senior civil servant in two weeks, in the latest development of the dramatic upheaval taking place across Whitehall.

    Clare Moriarty, one of the UK's most senior mandarins, has decided to leave the government, BuzzFeed News can reveal.

    Moriarty was the permanent secretary at the Department for Exiting the European Union and had been expected to move into another senior role following the disbanding of the department at the end of January,

    Earlier this year she was tipped for a promotion to replace the departing chief executive of the civil service, John Manzoni.

    She had also been strongly linked to the vacant position of permanent secretary at the Home Office, following the extraordinary public resignation of Philip Rutnam two weeks ago.

    She is in line for a significant severance package, BuzzFeed News was told.

    “The grown-ups are gone,” a Whitehall source said.

    Moriarty is a highly regarded career civil servant who has been a permanent secretary for the last five years, heading up the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs before her move to DExEU.

    She previously held senior roles at the Department for Transport and the Ministry of Justice.

    At the end of February, Home Office permanent secretary Rutnam resigned and announced that he was issuing a claim for constructive dismissal after making a series of bullying allegations against home secretary Priti Patel.

    Moriarty's departure is not understood to be linked to Rutnam's resignation.

    Reforming Whitehall has been at the heart of Johnson’s domestic agenda since he became prime minister.

    BuzzFeed News has previously reported that the head of the civil service, Mark Sedwill, had faced internal criticisms that he was letting Johnson and his chief aide Dominic Cummings “do whatever they want”. One official described Sedwill as “Boris’s lackey”.

    Alex Wickham is a senior reporter with BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

    Contact Alex Wickham at

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