Mandarin is called to account

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The Independent Online
The Treasury official responsible for the internal report predicting privatisation of the welfare state under a future Tory government is expected to be disciplined today by civil service bosses, writes Colin Brown.

Last night the Treasury was said to be furious with Helen Goodman, the civil servant who led the team which was dismissed as "kids" by the Chancellor, Kenneth Clarke, after its report was leaked to the press.

Ms Goodman is expected to be challenged over her denial that she is a political activist, after it emerged at the weekend that she hopes to become a Labour MP and is on the shortlist of candidates for the safe Labour seat of South Yorkshire.

However, a spokesman for the Cabinet Office said last night that she had broken no civil service rules. As she has not gained the seat, she has not contravened the rule banning civil servants, under the Servants of the Crown Act, from being candidates for national or European parliamentary elections.

Ms Goodman, 37, whose husband publishes the left-of-centre Prospect magazine, called in the report for the privatisation of pensions and welfare benefits and for roads to be sold off with drivers paying to use them.