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The supreme talent of Jeremy Heywood, 1961-2018

The former cabinet secretary showed the civil service at its best

By Sue Cameron  

Photo: DPA/PA Images

Jeremy Heywood, cabinet secretary and Britain’s top civil servant, was never a street fighter. When he won battles in Whitehall—as he invariably did—it was because of the sheer brilliance of his performance. “He always outperformed opponents—he didn’t hit them below the belt,” said Anthony Seldon, who has written the history of all cabinet secretaries since the post was created over 100 years ago.

Heywood‘s untimely death from cancer at the age of 56 leaves a gap at the heart of government. Charming, with a prodigious appetite…

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