Treasury chief behind Covid bailouts reappointed for five more years

End of the Cummings purge? Treasury mandarin behind coronavirus bailouts is reappointed for another five years despite claims he topped Whitehall ‘hit list’

  • Sir Tom Scholar has been reappointed as permanent secretary to the Treasury
  • The mandarin was said to have been on a No10 Whitehall ‘hit list’ last February
  • Dominic Cummings quit Downing Street in November after power struggle 

Boris Johnson appears to have drawn a line under the war on Whitehall after the mandarin who helped draw up massive coronavirus bailouts was reappointed for another five years.   

Sir Tom Scholar is understood to have had his tenure as Treasury permanent secretary extended despite claims he was at the top of a civil service ‘hit list’ when Dominic Cummings was in No10.

Sir Tom, 52, who first took on the job in 2016, was said to have been blamed by Downing Street for obstructing the Brexit process.

A host of other senior mandarins reported to have been in the firing line early last year, including Philip Rutnam at the Home Office and Simon McDonald at the Foreign Office, have since departed. 

Sir Tom Scholar (pictured) is understood to have had his tenure as Treasury permanent secretary extended despite claims he was at the top of a civil service ‘hit list’ when Dominic Cummings was in No10

Mr Cummings (pictured taking his belongings out of No10 in November) was a longstanding critic of the way the civil service works, calling for more modern organisation and data-driven policies

Mr Cummings was a longstanding critic of the way the civil service works, calling for more modern organisation and data-driven policies. 

He once allegedly described his Whitehall reform agenda as a ‘hard rain’, and described the machine as ‘Kafkaesque’.

But Mr Cummings dramatically quit in November after an apparent power struggle between the Vote Leave faction in No10, and Mr Johnson’s fiancee Carrie Symonds and new press secretary Allegra Stratton.

Mr Johnson has now installed Dan Rosenfield, another former Treasury official, as his chief of staff as he looks to ‘reset’ his premiership and soothe tensions with Tory MPs.

Rishi Sunak’s huge bailout packages were regarded as one of the few successful parts of the government’s coronavirus response.

Unprecedented schemes, including propping up millions of jobs with furlough, were put together in days as civil servants and ministers worked around the clock.   

Allies of the Chancellor had always dismissed the idea that Sir Tom could be ousted as part of a cull. 

Allies of Chancellor Rishi Sunak (pictured in No11 this week) had always dismissed the idea that Sir Tom could be ousted as part of a cull

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