Revealed: The Treasury mandarin who said losing £1bn for the taxpayer was value for money

Westminster Confidential

john kingman, second Permanent secretary at The Treasury Pic Credit: worldellows.yale.edu john kingman, second Permanent secretary at The Treasury Pic Credit: worldellows.yale.edu

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There has been enormous outrage about the £1bn loss to the taxpayer caused by the sale of the first tranche of Royal Bank of Scotland shares. An article inThe Guardianon August 4 reported not only expected criticism from Labour but concern from a banking analyst that the share price of RBS was too low to justify the sale.

What was only briefly mentioned was that the second most powerful mandarin in the Treasury had also given the go ahead. You might expect him to bow and scrape to the Chancellor but actually he has more powers than you might think and he needn’t have followed his instructions.

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