Granatt quits Govt as Phillis scraps his role

Government Information and Communications Service (GICS) director-general Mike Granatt is to quit the Civil Service, following the axing of his role as part of the recommendations of the Phillis review into Government PR.

The conclusions of the review, chaired by Guardian Media Group CEO Bob Phillis, were revealed on Wednesday. A key recommendation was the creation of the role of a permanent secretary, with responsibility for government comms, and the axing of Granatt’s post.

Granatt said he had no intention of applying for the permanent secretary role, telling PRWeek: ‘I will definitely be leaving the Civil Service. I have a few ideas.’

In a memo to staff he added: ‘I have decided that after nearly 25 years in the Service, including seven years as its head, it’s time to move on.’

Granatt welcomed the creation of the permanent secretary role. In its submission to the review, the GICS had recommended its creation, but not the axing of Granatt’s role, which has come as a surprise to GICS staff.

Meanwhile, a GICS source suggests that – in addition to external candidates – a number of comms heads at government departments are likely to apply for the permanent secretary job.

Names being mooted in Whitehall circles include Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs comms director Lucian Hudson, the Department of Health’s Sian Jarvis, who sits on the Phillis review team, and the Department for Work and Pensions’ Simon MacDowall.

Hudson and MacDowall declined to comment and Jarvis was unavailable to comment as PRWeek went to press.

The Phillis review also recommended that the newly appointed PM’s communications director, David Hill, should not have the executive power held by Alastair Campbell.

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