Latest Public Sector News


Civil Service shake-up: two perm secs step down

The government has announced a shake-up at the top of the Civil Service, with two permanent secretaries stepping down.

Ursula Brennan is to retire from her role as permanent secretary at the Ministry of Justice during the summer recess, with Richard Heaton moving from his role as perm sec at the Cabinet Office to replace her.

John Manzoni, chief executive of the Civil Service, will take on Heaton’s former role in addition to his current responsibilities.

Paying tribute to Brennan, cabinet secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood, said that she has made a tremendous contribution across a wide range of government departments and agencies.

“She is widely admired as a role model throughout the Civil Service and has worked tirelessly to promote and inspire a generation of leaders. She has been a greatly valued permanent secretary colleague and I wish her all the best for the future,” he added.

Brennan informed Heywood she planned to retire before the election but agreed to stay on until the summer to ease the transition.

Speaking about her time in Whitehall, she said: “In four decades in the Civil Service, I have had the great privilege of working in support of critical public services. From health and social security to rural development, and from defence to justice, I have been lucky to work with colleagues with strong public service values and a commitment to continuous improvement.”

Meanwhile, at Defra, Bronwyn Hill is also stepping down as permanent secretary after more than four years, to be replaced by Clare Moriarty, the current director general at the Department for Transport's (DfT) Rail Executive.

Sir Jeremy said that Hill had been “an exemplary public servant” over the past three decades.

Moriarty, who is a qualified accountant with experience in the Department of Health, the Ministry of Justice, and the DfT, said she was "thrilled" to take over at Defra.

“The department has a great role to play on issues that matter to everyone in the country, from the food that we eat to the future of the planet. I welcome the chance to work with Liz Truss and her ministerial team on a fascinating agenda for the years ahead,” she added.

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment



public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been the r more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News


Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >


Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need ... more >

the raven's daily blog

Northern Powerhouse Partner aims to connect the North once again

02/09/2019Northern Powerhouse Partner aims to connect the North once again

In February this year, official Northern Powerhouse Partner, Cognitive Publishing, delivered EvoNorth 2019.  The two day event was designed to amplify and highlight futur... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >