Complaints about the civil service being more open to political influence is nothing new. The appointment of Tsars under new Labour was said to take policy development away from the Civil Service and put in the hands of those appointed by government.
That does not though mean that politics could play an ever greater role. With Hancock apparently looking to go further and faster than the previous architect of Civil Service reform, Francis Maude, then a very different form of policy development is possible.
Add the further cuts to the Civil Service and its numbers that are expected then central government operations start to look very different.
Whitehall sources revealed that Matt Hancock, the cabinet office minister, will bring in new rules giving ministers greater say over public appointments. A senior source said: “We are getting a grip so they support the policy direction of the government and to ensure that ministers have the final decision.”