Sir Mark Sedwill was given an almost £250,000 payoff to step down from his role as the UK’s most senior civil servant, it has been disclosed.
In a letter signed by Boris Johnson and published on the government website it stated that Sir Mark was to be awarded £248,189 in “consideration of his employment situation”, the fact his role “was split” and that he was “stepping down early”.
The money is “likely to be in the form of a pension contribution”.
A former government official told The Daily Telegraph: “If people leave and it’s quite clear he would have wanted to stay on longer, the costs are high for senior people. It’s a consequence if senior people leave early ahead of their time. It comes directly from the fact he’s been forced out.”
It comes as Sir Mark added to speculation that he had been ousted from his role as he insisted he did not resign from the post.
In a meeting with the National Security Strategy Committee Sir Mark confirmed that he had left the position after a conversation with Boris Johnson.
"I haven't resigned. The Prime Minister and I agreed I should step down, by agreement. That was essentially because we had concluded it was time to split the jobs again and have a separate security adviser and separate cabinet secretary,” he said.
Sir Mark insisted that "personalities were not an issue at all" and that he had a good relationship with Mr Johnson, as he claimed that "at some point between the election and the middle part of this Parliament, it would have been sensible for me to have moved on".
However, this newspaper reported that sources said Sir Mark was “fighting to stay as National Security Adviser” and was resigned to losing his post as Cabinet Secretary when his departure was announced last month.
The move was seen as part of a shake-up of the Civil Service by Dominic Cummings, Mr Johnson’s chief aide.
Sir Mark warned that civil service officials were "fair game" in modern politics.
"It is never pleasant to find oneself, particularly as an official, in the midst of stories of that kind," he said. "We appear to be in an era where some of us are fair game in the media and I'm afraid it goes with the territory now.
"I don't think it is ever pleasant in government, whether it is against ministers, between them and particularly against officials, when you have briefings to which you cannot really reply, particularly those that are off the record and sniping away.
"But it is a regrettable feature of modern politics, I'm afraid."