Granatt warns James of ‘difficult task’ in govt role

Former pan-Whitehall comms chief Mike Granatt has warned Howell James that he faces a ‘uniquely difficult task’ in his new role as permanent secretary of government communications.

Granatt, whose job as Government Information and Communications Service director-general was axed last year in the review that recommended the creation of James’s role, said: ‘It’s notoriously difficult to get permanent secretaries and heads of information to work together across government – they work for their ministers, not the Cabinet Office.’

‘Howell will have to use influence rather than any executive authority,’ added Granatt.

IPR director-general Colin Farrington said: ‘The GICS needs someone like [James] rather than a career generalist civil servant.’

James worked as political secretary for PM John Major in the mid-1990s and as director of corporate affairs at the BBC. He joins in June from Brown Lloyd James, which he co-founded.

Granatt, now a partner at Luther Pendragon, said James was ‘one of the few people’ with the experience the job requires.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in