Civil service changes demanded in wake of rail fiasco

Senior Labour MP Margaret Hodge said the West Coast main line rail fiasco exposed flaws in Whitehall processes.

She told BBC Radio 4's Today Programme: "It exposes in a very stark way that the present conventions on accountability between civil servants and ministers to Parliament and the public aren't working.

Labour MP Margaret Hodge has demanded sweeping changes to the civil service amid the West Coast main line rail fiasco. Credit: PA Wire

"It's yet another example ... of where the civil servants themselves have not really captured and taken on the role that is expected of them in today's society."

She added: "The way you climb the greasy pole in the civil service is that you change your job every couple of years.

"That's a disaster and we need to leave people in post so they take proper responsibility for the very difficult and complex job they have to do.

"Then we have to open up this issue of accountability so they can't hide behind lack of accountability for not telling us what the outcomes are."

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DfT rail deal official hits back

A senior Department of Transport official suspended over the mishandling of the West Coast Main Line rail franchise contract as hit out at her own department for "inaccurately portraying" her role and overstating her responsibility.