Blair’s delivery unit will return under Labour


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Indy Politics

A future Labour Government would resurrect Tony Blair’s famous Downing Street delivery unit in an attempt to impose its writ across Whitehall.

One of David Cameron’s first acts when he became Prime Minister in 2010 was to scrap the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit as well as the Cabinet Office Strategy Unit as he promised  to free up Whitehall departments from central political interference.

But in a major speech on civil service reform today, Labour’s shadow Cabinet Office minister, Michael Dugher, will claim that the move has led to costly mistakes such as failures in implementing universal credit and allowed departments to operate in silos with no centralised control.

Mr Dugher will claim that the move has meant departments are now “substantially less scrutinised and less held to account than before 2010”.

“There is a real lack of focus and accountability for implementation across Whitehall,” he is expected to say.

“What we need is a comprehensive performance-management framework  for government.”

Mr Dugher will also attack Mr Cameron’s “sun-lounger” style of government – while promising not to return to the “sofa government” that characterised the Blair administration – and is expected to outline Labour’s plans for further civil-service reform.