Slashing 91,000 civil service jobs is “perfectly reasonable” after Brexit and the pandemic, Jacob Rees-Mogg has insisted.
The minister for Brexit opportunities and efficiency noted the civil service had “taken on extra people for specific tasks… but now we’re trying to get back to normal”.
In an interview with Sky News, Mr Rees-Mogg revealed the cuts would come from arms-length bodies, including quangos, and cracking down on “duplication”.
“There are many savings that come from that. Therefore you have to make sure people are being used as efficiently as possible,” he said.
Asked if it marked a return to austerity, he responded: ”I don’t think it is, because what is being done is getting back to the efficiency levels we had in 2016. That’s a perfectly reasonable and sensible objective. The only bit that is ideological is we should spend taxpayers’ money properly, not wastefully.”
Separately, Mr Rees-Mogg said Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, the DUP leader, was being “reasonable” in his party’s plans to block the election of a speaker at the Northern Ireland Assembly today.
Follow the latest updates below.