Jeremy Heywood

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The Lord Heywood of Whitehall

Sir Jeremy Heywood, Cabinet Secretary, January 2015 (cropped).jpg
Heywood in 2015
Cabinet Secretary
In office
1 January 2012 24 October 2018
Prime Minister
Preceded by Gus O'Donnell
Succeeded by Mark Sedwill
Head of the Home Civil Service
In office
September 2014 24 October 2018
Prime Minister
Preceded by Bob Kerslake
Succeeded by Mark Sedwill
Downing Street Permanent Secretary
In office
11 May 2010 1 January 2012
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded byOffice created
Succeeded byOffice abolished
Downing Street Chief of Staff
In office
10 October 2008 11 May 2010
Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Preceded by Stephen Carter
Succeeded by Edward Llewellyn
Principal Private Secretary to the
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
In office
23 January 2008 11 May 2010
Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Preceded by Tom Scholar
Succeeded by James Bowler
In office
4 June 1999 10 July 2003
Prime Minister Tony Blair
Preceded by Ivan Rogers
Succeeded by Sir John Holmes
Personal details
Jeremy John Heywood

(1961-12-31)31 December 1961
Glossop, Derbyshire, England
Died4 November 2018(2018-11-04) (aged 56)
Suzanne Cook (m. 1997)
Alma mater

Jeremy John Heywood, Baron Heywood of Whitehall, GCB , CVO (31 December 1961 – 4 November 2018) was a British civil servant. Heywood served as Cabinet Secretary from 1 January 2012, and Head of the Home Civil Service from September 2014, until stepping down in October 2018. He had previously served twice as the Principal Private Secretary to the Prime Minister, as well as the Downing Street Chief of Staff and the first and only Downing Street Permanent Secretary. [1] [2] After he was diagnosed with lung cancer, [3] he took a leave of absence from June 2018, and retired on health grounds on 24 October 2018, receiving a life peerage; he died two weeks later on 4 November 2018.

Cabinet Secretary (United Kingdom) most senior position within the British Civil Service

The Cabinet Secretary is the most senior civil servant in the United Kingdom. They act as the senior policy adviser to the Prime Minister and Cabinet and as the Secretary to the Cabinet, responsible to all Ministers for the running of Cabinet Government. The role is currently occupied by Mark Sedwill, appointed in October 2018; in succession to Jeremy Heywood, 2014 - 2018.

Principal Private Secretary to the Prime Minister senior official in the British Civil Service

The Principal Private Secretary to the Prime Minister is a senior official in the British Civil Service who acts as Principal Private Secretary to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. The holder of this office is traditionally the head of the Prime Minister's Office. In the Civil Service, the role is currently graded as a Director-General. To date, no woman has ever occupied the office. In fiction, the character of Bernard Woolley in the television series Yes, Prime Minister, occupied this post.

Downing Street Chief of Staff Most senior political appointee in the Office of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

The Downing Street Chief of Staff is the most senior political appointee in the Office of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, acting as a senior aide to the Prime Minister, a powerful, non-ministerial position within Her Majesty's Government.


Early life and education

Heywood was born on 31 December 1961 in Glossop, Derbyshire, England. [4] His parents were Peter Heywood and Brenda Swinbank, [5] [6] [7] who met as teachers at Ackworth School, one of a few Quaker educational establishments in England.

Glossop town and unparished area in High Peak district of Derbyshire, England

Glossop is a market town in the High Peak, Derbyshire, England, about 15 miles (24 km) east of Manchester, 24 miles (39 km) west of Sheffield and 32 miles (51 km) north of the county town, Matlock. Glossop is near Derbyshire's county borders with Cheshire, Greater Manchester, South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire. It is between 150 and 300 metres above mean sea level, and lies just outside the Peak District National Park.

Derbyshire ceremonial county in East Midlands, England

Derbyshire is a county in the East Midlands of England. A substantial portion of the Peak District National Park lies within Derbyshire, containing the southern extremity of the Pennine range of hills which extend into the north of the county. The county contains part of the National Forest, and borders on Greater Manchester to the northwest, West Yorkshire to the north, South Yorkshire to the northeast, Nottinghamshire to the east, Leicestershire to the southeast, Staffordshire to the west and southwest and Cheshire also to the west. Kinder Scout, at 636 metres (2,087 ft), is the highest point in the county, whilst Trent Meadows, where the River Trent leaves Derbyshire, is its lowest point at 27 metres (89 ft). The River Derwent is the county's longest river at 66 miles (106 km), and runs roughly north to south through the county. In 2003 the Ordnance Survey placed Church Flatts Farm at Coton in the Elms as the furthest point from the sea in Great Britain.

Brenda Swinbank archaeologist; classicist

Brenda Swinbank is an English archaeologist, one of the first women in Britain to become a professional archaeologist. She specialised in studying Hadrian's Wall, and was instrumental in bringing to publication excavations under York Minster.

Heywood was educated at the independent Quaker Bootham School, where his father taught English. [8] He studied history and economics at Hertford College, Oxford (where he was later made an Honorary Fellow), graduating with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in 1983, and economics at the London School of Economics, graduating with a Master of Science (MSc) degree in 1986. [9] He also attended the Program for Management Development at Harvard Business School in 1994. [4]

Independent school (United Kingdom) fee-paying school in the United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, independent schools are fee-paying private schools, governed by an elected board of governors and independent of many of the regulations and conditions that apply to state-funded schools. For example, pupils do not have to follow the National Curriculum. Many of the older, expensive and more exclusive schools catering for the 13–18 age-range in England and Wales are known as public schools as defined by the Public Schools Act 1868, the term "public" being derived from the fact that they were then open to pupils regardless of where they lived or their religion. Prep (preparatory) schools educate younger children up to the age of 13 to "prepare" them for entry to the public schools and other independent schools. Some former grammar schools converted to an independent fee-paying model following the 1965 Circular 10/65 which marked the end of their state funding; others converted into comprehensive schools.

Bootham School

Bootham School is an independent Quaker boarding school in the city of York in North Yorkshire, England. It accepts boys and girls ages 3–19, and had an enrolment of 605 pupils in 2016.

Hertford College, Oxford college of the University of Oxford

Hertford College is a constituent college of the University of Oxford in England. It is located on Catte Street in the centre of Oxford, directly opposite the main gate to the Bodleian Library. The College is known for its iconic bridge, the Bridge of Sighs. There are around 600 students at the College at any one time, comprising undergraduates, graduates and visiting students from overseas. As of 2018, the college had a financial endowment of £65m.


From 1983 to 1984, Heywood worked as an economist at the Health and Safety Executive, before moving to the Treasury, [10] and became the Principal Private Secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer then Norman Lamont at the age of 30, having to help mitigate the fallout from Black Wednesday after less than a month in the job. [11] He remained in this role throughout the 1990s under Chancellors Kenneth Clarke and Gordon Brown. He was economic and domestic policy secretary to Tony Blair from 1997 to 1998, [10] before being promoted to be the Principal Private Secretary to Prime Minister Tony Blair in 1999. He stayed in this position until 2003, when he left the civil service in the wake of the Hutton Inquiry where it emerged that he said he had never minuted meetings in the Prime Ministerial offices about David Kelly, a job he was required to do.

Health and Safety Executive Organisation responsible for the encouragement, regulation and enforcement of workplace health, safety and welfare in Great Britain

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is a UK government agency responsible for the encouragement, regulation and enforcement of workplace health, safety and welfare, and for research into occupational risks in Great Britain. It is a non-departmental public body of the United Kingdom with its headquarters in Bootle, England. In Northern Ireland, these duties lie with the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland. The HSE was created by the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and has since absorbed earlier regulatory bodies such as the Factory Inspectorate and the Railway Inspectorate though the Railway Inspectorate was transferred to the Office of Rail and Road in April 2006. The HSE is sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions. As part of its work, HSE investigates industrial accidents, small and large, including major incidents such as the explosion and fire at Buncefield in 2005. Though it formerly reported to the Health and Safety Commission, on 1 April 2008, the two bodies merged.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Senior official in the Cabinet of the United Kingdom responsible for economic and financial matters

The Chancellor and Under-Treasurer of Her Majesty's Exchequer, commonly known as the Chancellor of the Exchequer, or simply the Chancellor, is a senior official within the Government of the United Kingdom and head of Her Majesty's Treasury. The office is a British Cabinet-level position.

Norman Lamont British politician

Norman Stewart Hughson Lamont, Baron Lamont of Lerwick, is a British politician and former Conservative MP for Kingston-upon-Thames. He is best known for his period serving as Chancellor of the Exchequer, from 1990 until 1993. He was created a life peer in 1998. Lamont is a supporter of the Eurosceptic organisation Leave Means Leave.

He became a managing director of the UK Investment Banking Division at Morgan Stanley where he was embroiled in the aftermath of the collapse of Southern Cross Healthcare. [12] Upon Gordon Brown becoming Prime Minister in 2007, Heywood returned to government as Head of Domestic Policy and Strategy at the Cabinet Office.

Morgan Stanley U.S investment bank

Morgan Stanley is an American multinational investment bank and financial services company headquartered at 1585 Broadway in the Morgan Stanley Building, Midtown Manhattan, New York City. With offices in more than 42 countries and more than 55,000 employees, the firm's clients include corporations, governments, institutions and individuals. Morgan Stanley ranked No. 67 in the 2018 Fortune 500 list of the largest United States corporations by total revenue.

Southern Cross Healthcare (United Kingdom)

Southern Cross Healthcare was a private provider of health and social care services, predominantly through the provision of care centres for elderly and some younger people. The group was the largest provider of care homes and long term care beds in the United Kingdom, operating over 750 care homes, 37,000+ beds and employing around 41,000 staff. Following rapid expansion financed by the sale of leases of its homes, its shares fell 98% from early 2008 to early 2011, reducing its market value from £1.1bn to around £12m. It was listed on the London Stock Exchange and a constituent of the FTSE Fledgling Index. The company had severe financial problems in 2011 and declared insolvency the following year.

Gordon Brown former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

James Gordon Brown is a British politician who was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Labour Party from 2007 to 2010. He served as Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1997 to 2007. Brown was a Member of Parliament (MP) from 1983 to 2015, first for Dunfermline East and later for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath.

He later resumed the post of Principal Private Secretary, as well as being appointed the Downing Street Chief of Staff after the resignation of Stephen Carter. [13] In 2010, after David Cameron became Prime Minister, Heywood was replaced as Chief of Staff by Edward Llewellyn and as Principal Private Secretary by James Bowler. [14] He returned to the civil service and was subsequently appointed the first Downing Street Permanent Secretary, a role created for the purpose of liaising between the Cabinet Secretary and the Chief of Staff within the Cabinet Office. [15]

Stephen Andrew Carter, Baron Carter of Barnes, CBE, is a Scottish businessman and politician. Starting his career as CEO of J Walter Thompson UK & Ireland and COO of NTL UK & Ireland, in 2003 Carter became the founding CEO of Ofcom in the United Kingdom. He was subsequently the group CEO of Brunswick Group from 2007 until 2008, when he stepped down to join the administration of Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Initially serving in 2008 as Brown's chief of strategy, principal advisor, and the Downing Street Chief of Staff, he was the Minister for Communications, Technology and Broadcasting from 2008 to 2009. Between 2010 and 2013 he held various management positions at Alcatel-Lucent, and in 2013 he became the group CEO of Informa, an information and events company.

David Cameron former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

David William Donald Cameron is a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2010 to 2016. He was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Witney from 2001 to 2016 and Leader of the Conservative Party from 2005 to 2016. He identifies as a one-nation conservative, and has been associated with both economically liberal and socially liberal policies.

Cabinet Secretary

On 11 October 2011 it was announced that Heywood would replace Sir Gus O'Donnell as the Cabinet Secretary, the highest-ranked official in Her Majesty's Civil Service, upon the latter's retirement in January 2012. It was also announced that Heywood would not concurrently hold the roles of Head of the Home Civil Service and Permanent Secretary for the Cabinet Office, as would usually be the case. These positions instead went to Sir Bob Kerslake and Ian Watmore respectively. On 1 January 2012, Heywood was knighted and officially made Cabinet Secretary. In July 2014 it was announced that Kerslake would step down and Heywood would take the title of Head of the Home Civil Service in the coming autumn. [16] In September 2014, Heywood duly succeeded Kerslake. [17] As of September 2015, Heywood was paid a salary of between £195,000 and £199,999, making him one of the 328 most highly paid people in the British public sector at that time. [18]

In June 2013, he visited The Guardian 's offices to warn its then editor, Alan Rusbridger, that The Guardian's involvement with Edward Snowden could make it a target for "our guys" in British intelligence and "Chinese agents on your staff". [10]

He was criticised when he vetoed release to the Chilcot Inquiry of 150 letters and records of phone calls between Tony Blair and President George W. Bush before the 2003 Iraq War. [19]

Illness and death

Heywood was diagnosed with lung cancer in June 2017 and took a leave of absence from his position in June 2018 owing to his illness. [3] [20] He retired on health grounds on 24 October 2018. [21]

He died on 4 November 2018, aged 56. [22] [20]

Personal life

In 1997, Heywood married Suzanne Cook. Together they had three children, including twins. [4] Suzanne is a former civil servant who moved into the private sector: she has been managing director of the Exor Group since 2016 and chair of CNH Industrial since 2018. [23] [24]


Heywood was appointed Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in the 2002 New Year Honours, [25] and a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO) in 2003. [26] promoted to Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) in the 2012 New Year Honours, and was thereby granted the title sir . [27] [28] The Parliamentary Public Administration Committee cited the example of Heywood's knighthood as an automatic honour granted due to his position. [29] He was promoted to Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath on 31 October 2018. [30] [31]

On Heywood's retirement as Cabinet Secretary on 24 October 2018, the Prime Minister Theresa May nominated him for a life peerage in recognition of his distinguished service to public life. [21] He was created Baron Heywood of Whitehall, of Glossop in the County of Derbyshire on 26 October 2018, [32] shortly before his death. [33] [34] [35]

Titles and styles

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  1. Senior Appointments, 10 Downing Street website, 23 January 2008, archived from the original on 16 January 2010, retrieved 19 January 2010
  2. "Cabinet Office Structure Charts" (PDF). Cabinet Office HM Government. May 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 July 2010. Retrieved 5 September 2010.
  3. 1 2 "Former head of UK civil service, Sir Jeremy Heywood, dies at 56". Global Government Forum. 5 November 2018.
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  5. "Book Review – Recollections of a Female Archaeologist: A Life of Brenda Swinbank". HARN Weblog. 29 June 2018. Retrieved 27 July 2018.
  6. Recollections of a Female Archaeologist.
  7. Andrew Gregory (5 March 2012). "The most powerful unelected man in Britain". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  8. Bootham School Register. York, England: Bootham Old Scholars Association. 2011.
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Government offices
Preceded by
Sir John Holmes
Principal Private Secretary to the Prime Minister
Succeeded by
Ivan Rogers
Preceded by
Tom Scholar
Principal Private Secretary to the Prime Minister
Succeeded by
James Bowler
Preceded by
Stephen Carter
Downing Street Chief of Staff
Succeeded by
Edward Llewellyn
New title Downing Street Permanent Secretary
Office abolished
Preceded by
Sir Gus O'Donnell
Cabinet Secretary
Succeeded by
Sir Mark Sedwill
Preceded by
Sir Bob Kerslake
Head of the Home Civil Service
Title next held by
Sir Mark Sedwill