Boris Johnson promises ‘compassion’ to get people through cost of living crisis
The government could cut as many as 90,000 civil service jobs in a cost-saving exercise touted by Boris Johnson, as ministers come under increasing pressure to help ease the cost of living crisis with possible tax cuts.
The prime minister is reported to have told his cabinet on Thursday that the civil service workforce should be cut by a fifth, which would save more than £3bn.
The plan was discussed with cabinet colleagues on Thursday at an away-day in Stoke-on-Trent.
Sources familiar with the conversations said he told ministers to return the civil service to its 2016 levels in the coming years.
Staffing levels have increased since then as the impact of Brexit across government and public life increased the need for civil servants.
Meanwhile, the European Union’s leading negotiator in the row over the Northern Ireland protocol has urged the British government to stop threatening unilateral action and start negotiating for a new post-Brexit arrangement.
Welcome to The Independent’s live blog on all the latest updates on UK politics for Friday 13 May.