Jeremy Heywood, Lord Heywood of Whitehall, who has died of most cancers elderly 56, was once a participant in the entire main occasions that affected the country’s future over the past 3 a long time. The previous cupboard secretary performed key roles within the Black Wednesday monetary disaster of 1992, the Iraq warfare from 2003, the monetary disaster of 2008, the advent of the coalition govt in 2010 and the present Brexit negotiations.
He additionally become a relied on adviser to successive top ministers, managing to pass the divide no longer most effective between opposing events but additionally between other factions inside the similar birthday celebration. Right through his lengthy profession in Whitehall he was once a relied on civil carrier adviser to Lord (Norman) Lamont, when he was once chancellor underneath John Main within the 1990s, to each Tony Blair and Gordon Brown in spite of the toxic dating between them, and latterly to David Cameron and Theresa Might, who have been colleagues somewhat than pals.
He was once, as even his critics admit, probably the most tough particular person within the nation of whom the general public had by no means heard. He himself stated this in proof to a parliamentary make a choice committee in 2012. “I love to be invisible,” he stated.
Within Whitehall he was once a long way from invisible. He was once extra invincible, and unquestionably arguable. Within the Whitehall fight of concepts, he was once an ardent moderniser, short of to escape from the stuffiness and arcane rituals of the machine to get issues performed. He used the entire newest control jargon, describing the civil carrier to international governments as “a internet exporter of concepts”, ministers as “shoppers for our recommendation” and reputable stories as “a product”.
He additionally might be ruthless even at a tender age. After the monetary disaster led to through Britain plunging out of the Trade Charge Mechanism in 1992, he applied such savage cuts on the Treasury that civil servants referred to their workplaces as “the hall of loss of life”. The reforms have persevered till these days, with the Treasury being some of the smallest Whitehall departments.
Born within the former mill the town of Glossop within the Prime Top district of Derbyshire, he was once the son of Peter Heywood, a instructor, and his spouse, Brenda (nee Swinbank), an archaeologist. He was once skilled at Bootham schoolos angelesprivate Quaker status quo in York, the place his father taught English and the place he become head boy.
He went on to review fashionable historical past and economics at Hertford Faculty, Oxford: his pals, consistent with contemporaries, tended to be leftwingers and anarchists, and at one degree he went off to Pakistan on an overland go back and forth. He additionally become a series smoker, and was once an avid supporter of Manchester United.
On graduating, he selected Whitehall, beginning on the Well being and Protection Govt (1983-84) however temporarily moved directly to the Treasury. It was once there that he started to polish as some of the sharpest minds in Whitehall. He was once non-public secretary to Lamont (1991-93) after which, most effective simply over 30, labored intently with Lamont’s particular adviser, the long run top minister David Cameron.
He went directly to turn into non-public secretary to the brand new chancellor, Kenneth Clarke, and in 1994-95 drew up his elementary evaluate of the Treasury’s construction, which become a blueprint for different adjustments.
When Blair become PM in 1997 he summoned Heywood to his place of business and made him financial and home secretary, which intended he become some of the key figures bridging the Blair-Brown divide within the new govt. To his credit score – and in spite of the acrimonious battles between the PM and his chancellor – Heywood was once each relied on through Blair and through Brown’s emerging megastar, Ed Balls. In 1999 he was once promoted to fundamental non-public secretary to the PM.
Then in an extraordinary transfer Heywood, who had additionally married a fellow civil servant, Suzanne Cook dinner, within the 12 months Blair received the election, left Whitehall. He become managing director of america financial institution Morgan Stanley in 2003 and made up our minds to have extra time together with his new child son.
Nevertheless it was once to not remaining. By means of 2007 he were lured again to Whitehall through Brown – first as head of home coverage and technique on the Cupboard Place of work, and inside a 12 months as everlasting secretary in Brown’s place of business. He was once instantly thrown into the monetary disaster, which stretched his skill to the prohibit.
When the coalition was once shaped after the indecisive 2010 basic election, Cameron stored him on at Downing Boulevard, selling him first to cupboard secretary in 2012 and mixing the position with the top of the civil carrier in 2014.
The coalition years have been dogged with issues from the arguable appointment and later resignation of Andy Coulson, the previous Information of the Global editor, to No 10 to the appointment after which resignation of Steve Hilton, Cameron’s guru. Hilton was once first wooed through Heywood, however after he proposed the sacking of 90% of all civil servants, successfully dispatched through him. When requested about his dating with Hilton through MPs, Heywood answered dismissively: “Steve has now left for California so far as I’m conscious.”
The Brexit vote in 2016 resulted in Cameron’s resignation and the arriving of Theresa Might. The lack of her general majority within the 2017 election stored Heywood in moderation balancing the other factions of the Tory birthday celebration, the use of his talents to give protection to the PM and seeking to stay Brexit on target. Certainly almost his complete Whitehall profession were constructed on retaining the quite a lot of political factions – most commonly within political events – in combination and preventing them derailing the trade of presidency.
He was once no longer uncontroversial. The proper attacked him for converting the face of Whitehall, the left for protecting the PM. He was once no longer keen on freedom of data when it interfered with the trade of presidency – and was once very adverse to the disclosures through the previous Nationwide Safety Company adviser Edward Snowden, telling the previous Parent editor Alan Rusbridger that the paper may just turn into a goal for “our guys” in British intelligence for publishing the disclosures.
However he’ll be remembered as an excellent civil servant who may just juggle 16 issues without delay and an overly artful negotiator who was once ready to easy the trail of presidency amid warring political factions. If ever he had written his memoirs they’d were filled with superb disclosures.
After his prognosis of most cancers remaining 12 months he took a go away of absence for remedy. On the finish of October he retired via in poor health well being and was once appointed to the Lords, his knighthood having are available 2012.
He’s survived through Suzanne, a son, and a dual son and daughter.
• Jeremy John Heywood, Lord Heywood of Whitehall, civil servant, born 31 December 1961; died four November 2018