Meet Simon Case: The highest ranking public official to be implicated in the partygate scandal

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who simon case partygate scandal sue gray report - HANNAH MCKAY/REUTERS
who simon case partygate scandal sue gray report - HANNAH MCKAY/REUTERS

As the head of the civil service, Simon Case is the highest ranking public official to be implicated in the partygate scandal.

Aged 43 and with a PhD in political history, the civil servant’s roles have included director of strategy for GCHQ and principal private secretary to David Cameron and Theresa May.

He left Government in 2018 to take up a role as private secretary to the Duke of Cambridge but was drafted back into Whitehall in April 2020 to help with the Government’s pandemic response efforts.

His deployment to the Cabinet Office at the height of the first national lockdown - which was initially intended as a temporary secondment from his royal duties - led to his rapid promotion through the ranks of the civil service high command.

In June 2020, just three months after his return to Government, he was promoted to the role of permanent secretary to run 10 Downing Street. And in September of the same year he was appointed to lead the civil service, becoming the youngest person to hold the role of Cabinet Secretary since 1916.

Cabinet Secretary Simon Case with Boris Johnson - POOL
Cabinet Secretary Simon Case with Boris Johnson - POOL

Mr Case read history at Cambridge University and went on to undertake a PhD at Queen Mary University of London where he completed a thesis on the contribution that the Joint Intelligence Committee made to British policy on Germany during the early Cold War.

After his doctorate, he joined the civil service in 2006 and worked for GCHQ, rising to become the cyber agency’s director of strategy. He also took up roles in the Northern Ireland Office and the Cabinet Office, where he was director of the implementation group.

He worked as a private secretary in Downing Street, then went on to lead Whitehall's preparation for Brexit.

As director general for Northern Ireland and Ireland in the now defunct Department for Exiting the EU, he was tasked with trying to solve the thorny issue of the Northern Ireland border in Brexit discussions.

His appointment as Prince William’s closest advisor in 2018 was seen at the time as a signal of the Duke's intentions for his future work as a full-time Royal, with him increasingly supporting the Queen and meeting leaders from around the world in his official capacity.

Mr Case was then brought back to the civil service in April 2020 as part of the Government’s drive to ramp up efforts to tackle coronavirus by deploying their brightest and best minds on the issue.

He was asked to lead the Cabinet Office's work on ensuring that the "nonshielded vulnerable", including food bank users and potential victims of domestic violence, were getting adequate support during the lockdown.

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