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  1. 18 May '10 19:03
    Whitehall officials 'protested over Labour spending'
    Civil service chiefs lodged formal protests at spending decisions by Labour ministers in the dying months of their rule, the BBC has been told.

    It culminated in the "nuclear option" of demanding written instructions from their political masters, union leader Jonathan Baume said.
    There was dismay at Labour's use of public finances, he added

    Mr Baume, leader of the First Division Association, told 5 live's chief political correspondent John Pienaar: "When a permanent secretary asks for their letter of direction from a minister, it is because they feel that a serious decision is being taken, which they feel is not right.

    "It's not a decision that is taken very often to ask for such a letter of direction, which is why it is regarded something of a nuclear option. So when it happens it tends to be a big spending decision, where the civil service believes this is not the right thing to do."


    Prime Minister David Cameron has said his ministers have found examples of "crazy" spending, including paying out bonuses to three-quarters of all senior civil servants.

    I guess this isn't surprising to anyone.