The Prime Minister personally telephoned Prince William to apologize for poaching his right arm. The prince, 38, “took it well” and agreed to release Mr Case “for the good of the country”.
Mr Johnson said: “Simon will make a fantastic cabinet secretary and head of the civil service. His years of experience in government and working for the Royal Household make him ideal for this crucial role.
Mr Case said he was ‘honored’ to be appointed and paid tribute to Sir Mark, who had originally recommended him for the post of permanent secretary.
A No 10 source said Mr Case, who officially takes up his new post on September 9, had already been tasked with the government’s top priorities: ‘Covid, leave the EU, save the Union and the next budget’.
“These are at the top of his bac, as defined by the prime minister,” the insider said.
The gate that currently connects 70 Whitehall to 10 Downing Street has been removed to unite the two office complexes after Mr Johnson decreed No 10, the Treasury and the Cabinet Office must work more closely together.
Yet on Tuesday night there were murmurs of dissent in the ranks of the Cabinet Office over what some officials perceive as Mr Case’s “political” appointment.
According to a source: “He is highly regarded as being in the pocket of Cummings and the PM’s yes-man.”
An ally of Mr Case said he was “really his own man”.
Mr Case’s predecessor Lord Gus O’Donnell said on Tuesday that his biggest challenge would be to “restore confidence in government and restore confidence in the civil service”.