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Cabinet Secretary Simon Case ‘is taking short period of medical leave’ as his Covid inquiry appearance looms


The Cabinet Secretary is taking a ‘short period’ of medical leave, it was announced today.

Simon Case, the UK’s most senior civil servant, is expected to be off for ‘a few weeks’ due to the ‘private’ issue.

The news comes as Rishi Sunak and Whitehall grapple with the fallout from the Israel terror attacks.

Mr Case had also been due to give evidence to the Covid inquiry in the coming weeks, after embarrassing WhatsApps emerged in which he described the government as a ‘joke’.

Simon Case, the UK's most senior civil servant, is expected to be off for a 'a few weeks' due to the 'private' issue

Simon Case, the UK’s most senior civil servant, is expected to be off for a ‘a few weeks’ due to the ‘private’ issue

A Cabinet Office spokesman said: ‘The Cabinet Secretary is taking a short period of leave because of a private medical matter and is due to return to work in a few weeks.’

Mr Case was championed for the top civil service job by Boris Johnson in September 2020, having previously been permanent secretary in No10. 

He has come under fire over his handling of the Partygate rows. 

He had to step back from the investigation into lockdown-breaking parties, which ultimately fell to Sue Gray to lead, because of his own involvement.

Mr Case was pictured at the Cabinet Room birthday party for which Mr Johnson and Mr Sunak were fined.

And earlier this month the Covid inquiry was shown WhatsApp messages from October 14, 2020 criticising the response to the pandemic.

He swiped that the government looked like a ‘terrible, tragic joke’, adding that he was ‘not sure I can cope’.

Politico said Mr Sunak will brief the Cabinet about the situation, with elements of Mr Case’s role being filled by a number of top officials while he is off, but no interim replacement. 



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