Number 10 Policy Unit

Number 10 Policy Unit

The Number 10 Policy Unit is a body of policymakers in 10 Downing Street in the British government. Originally set up to support Harold Wilson in 1974, it has gone through a series of guises to suit the needs of successive Prime Ministers, staffed variously by political advisers, civil servants or a combination of both.

The Coalition Government of May 2010 quickly disbanded two major parts of central infrastructure, the Prime Minister's Delivery Unit (PMDU) and Prime Minister's Strategy Unit (PMSU), as part of the Prime Minister's agenda to reduce the number of special advisers and end micromanagement of Whitehall.[1] In their place, a strengthened Policy and Implementation Unit was launched in early 2011, staffed wholly by civil servants and reporting jointly to the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister under joint heads Paul Kirby[2] (Policy) and Kris Murrin (Implementation).[3]

The current members of the Policy Unit are Paul Bate (Health and Adult Social Care),[4] Richard Freer (Defence),[5] Tim Luke (Business and Enterprise),[6] Michael Lynas (Big Society)[7] and Ben Moxham (Energy and Environment).[8] The Unit is supported by Ivan Collister's Research and Analytics Unit.[9]

Directed by Oliver Letwin and Danny Alexander's Policy Board, the Unit works closely with Conservative and Liberal Democrat political advisers Steve Hilton, James O'Shaughnessy, Polly Mackenzie and Tim Colbourne, and the private offices of the PM and DPM. Above them, Jeremy Heywood serves as Permanent Secretary of No.10 and Chris Wormald as Head of the Deputy Prime Minister's Office.

Previous heads include Bernard Donoughue, Ferdinand Mount, John Redwood, Brian Griffiths, Sarah Hogg, Norman Blackwell, David Bennett, David Miliband, Andrew Adonis,[10] Matthew Taylor, Geoff Mulgan, Dan Corry and Nick Pearce. Other notable members have included Oliver Letwin, David Willetts and Sir Michael Barber.[10]

See also


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