Britain’s high civil servant could not give proof to the Covid inquiry within the coming weeks as deliberate due to an ongoing illness.
Cabinet secretary Simon Case, who was everlasting secretary in Downing Avenue throughout the pandemic, is on medical go away from his present function.
He was anticipated to give proof to the Covid inquiry’s present periods, taking a look at core decision-making and political governance throughout the pandemic, however his look was delayed due to illness.
Now, others set to give proof within the coming weeks have been despatched a letter suggesting his proof session will probably be additional delayed due to the illness – particulars of which have been stored personal.
A supply shut to the inquiry burdened that Mr Case could nonetheless be referred to as at later periods to the inquiry, which is predicted to run for years to come.
Mr Case has been on the coronary heart of a lot of the testimony heard by the inquiry to this point.
The cupboard secretary, who was appointed to the highest civil service job by Boris Johnson in September 2020, was a part of a core group across the former PM.
The inquiry has targeted on WhatsApp messages between Mr Case and different key advisers together with Dominic Cummings and Mr Johnson’s former comms chief Lee Cain.
Messages despatched between the three revealed the chaos on the coronary heart of Downing Avenue throughout the pandemic, with Mr Case at one level declaring: “I’m on the finish of my tether.”
The pinnacle of the civil service stated the federal government was trying like a “horrible, tragic joke”, whereas Mr Johnson’s spouse Carrie was “the true individual in cost”.
Mr Case wrote that he was “undecided I can cope” amid obvious frustration at how the pandemic was being dealt with in authorities.
And in a shocking alternate seen by inquiry, Mr Case wrote: “I used to be at all times instructed that Dom [Dominic Cummings] was the key PM. How fallacious they’re. I look ahead to telling choose cttee tomorrow – ‘oh, f*** no, don’t fear about Dom, the true individual in cost is Carrie’.”
Mr Case additionally performed a key function within the Partygate saga and had to recuse himself from an investigation into lockdown-busting Downing Avenue gatherings due to his personal involvement, handing the duty to Sue Grey.
He was pictured on the Cabinet Room party for which Mr Johnson and Mr Sunak have been fined.
Mr Case’s central function throughout the Johnson administration additionally noticed him drawn into the rows surrounding Richard Sharp’s appointment as BBC chairman.
He additionally admitted he had an “casual dialog” about potential roles at a royal charity for Mrs Johnson after a immediate from No 10.
On Tuesday the Covid inquiry stated: “On 20 November 2023 the Solicitor to the Inquiry conveyed to Core Members by letter personal medical info concerning the Cabinet Secretary Simon Case so as to replace them on his capability to give proof throughout the Module 2 listening to and search any representations which they wished to make.”
Witnesses are introduced on Thursday for the next week. The inquiry declined to touch upon who would seem in future weeks.
The prime minister has wished Mr Case a speedy restoration.