David Cameron's former director of strategy says Tony Blair warned him about a ‘deep state’ conspiracy

Steve Hilton says the former Prime Minister told him the civil service 'believe it’s their job to actually run the country'

Tuesday 06 February 2018 01:22
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Tony Blair (L) and David Cameron (R) outside 10 Downing Street
Tony Blair (L) and David Cameron (R) outside 10 Downing Street

Tony Blair warned David Cameron about a “deep state” conspiracy, the Conservative Prime Minister’s former director of strategy has said.

In the months before the general election of 2010, Steve Hilton was given the task of preparing for the Mr Cameron’s first few months in government.

He met with Mr Blair to discuss the machinery of government, during which the former Prime Minister warned about the civil service.

“You cannot underestimate how much they believe it’s their job to actually run the country and to resist the changes put forward by people they dismiss as ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ politicians,” Mr Blair apparently said, according to Mr Hilton, who was writing for Fox News.

“They genuinely see themselves as the true guardians of the national interest, and think that their job is simply to wear you down and wait you out.”

Mr Hilton went on to add that ahead of the election, alongside Mr Cameron, he met with Gus O-Donnell the Cabinet secretary and the head of the civil service.

They had discussed a Conservative government policy on transparency in which they wanted to publish details of everything the British government spent money on.

Mr O’Donnell apparently responded to the proposals by saying: “Of course you don’t really mean all this government transparency stuff, do you?”

When he was told they were serious he reportedly replied: “Yes. Well, we’ll see about that.”

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