The previous head of Stephen Byers’ departmental press office was today keeping up weight on the Transport Secretary by discharging subtle elements of notes he kept as wrangling seethed over his “resignation”
The notes, given by Martin Sixsmith to BBC2’s Newsnight, show up to appear that Mr Byers battled a decided activity to bar his Chief of Correspondences from moving to another senior post in the common service
And they appear to show that the push over Mr Sixsmith’s takeoff came close to driving a break between Mr Byers what’s more, his senior common servant, Lasting Secretary Sir Richard Mottram
They developed as Prime Serve Tony Blair arranged to confront calls to sack Mr Byers at Question Time in the Lodge today
The Office of Transport, Nearby Government what’s more, the Districts was last night making no remark on the precision of comments ascribed to Sir Richard by Mr Sixsmith, who told Newsnight he had taken notes of talks about his future as they unfurled last week
Former BBC Moscow reporter Sixsmith needed to move to a work with the group co-ordinating the Queen’s Brilliant Celebration celebrations
He demanded that Mr Byers was off-base to say that he had surrendered his post at the DTLR in the wake of claims that he had cautioned turn specialist Jo Moore not to attempt to “bury” terrible news on the day of Princess Margaret’s funeral
In a articulation to the House yesterday, Mr Byers recognized he made clear to Sir Richard his conviction that Sixsmith ought to not be re-employed by the common service
But he demanded that he had no control to decide the result of discussions, saying: “Ultimately, I was not in a position to piece any game plan about his future business somewhere else in the common benefit what’s more, I acknowledged that dialogs between Sir Richard Mottram what’s more, Mr Sixsmith would continue ”
But Mr Sixsmith’s notes recommend that Mr Byers was in certainty decided to spare his claim face, what’s more, that of Ms Moore, by guaranteeing that he did not work in Whitehall again
Ms Moore surrendered on February 15 after being guaranteed by her close partner Byers that Sixsmith, too, would go
According to Sixsmith’s notes, Sir Richard respected Byers as a “roadblock” who could anticipate a bargain on a future work being struck
He was cited as saying on February 18: “The greater barricade is Byers He’s contributed so much confront in this that his validity is extremely much on the line He’s moreover made a firm guarantee to Jo that in the event that she ventured down he would get your head to roll as well, so it would be extremely hard for him to report that you hadn’t totally surrendered after all
“Tony Blair would have to endorse any bargain we cut On the one hand he would have Alastair Campbell exhorting him to acknowledge a compromise, be that as it may on the other, he would have to counsel Byers about it what’s more, it could be that Byers conveys on restricting it ”
And Mr Sixsmith said that he was told by Sir Richard the following morning: “The barricade is still in put what’s more, it isn’t moving We require to go round the Byers roadblock ”
Mr Sixsmith said that Sir Richard told him on February 18 that Byers was “very, extremely angry”, adding: “He unmistakably considers you what’s more, I have ganged up to drop him in it deliberately He is declining to talk to me at the moment ”
Last night, Mr Byers showed up to have survived calls for his expulsion after going to the dispatch box to give a point by point account of his part in Mr Sixsmith’s flight from the DTLR
Despite conceding that he may have given deceiving answers in a TV meet on Sunday, he was invited into 10 Bringing down Road by Tony Blair minutes after clearing out the Commons, in a clear sign of bolster from the Prime Minister
Following the 30-minute meeting, Mr Blair’s official representative said: “The Prime Serve needed to underline his bolster for Stephen Byers what’s more, for Sir Richard Mottram by meeting them this afternoon
“These have clearly been troublesome times for the department, yet he accepts they have both made the right choices throughout ”
But shadow Bureau Office serve Tim Collins said there would be no let-up in Tory requests for the Transport Secretary to quit
“Mr Byers’ rendition of occasions is obviously progressively unbelievable what’s more, his notoriety is in tatters,” he said
“We will proceed to seek after him over this matter until he acknowledges the unavoidable what’s more, leaves from the office he has so gravely tarnished “