play_circle_filled In progress

Government Government

Move UK Government civil servants out of London and the south-east

Last updated: 03:15pm 8 December 2019

Starting with the UK Government’s arm’s-length bodies, we will start moving significant numbers of UK Government civil servants and other public servants out of London and the south-east to cities around the UK.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.34

Our verdict

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), in 2017 the government employed 419,399 civil servants. The region with the highest proportion is London, which accounted for 18.6% of the total. The lowest was the East Midlands (excluding Northern Ireland and overseas) with 4.6% of civil service employees. In line with plans to boost regional and devolved development, this policy promised to move significant numbers of civil servants out of London to cities around the UK.

In July 2018, the Government Estate Strategy was published, setting out plans to relocate thousands of civil servants in new buildings across the country throughout 2020. The document reaffirms commitment to this policy objective, aiming to move 1,000 posts out of London by 2022, with more to follow.

The government has laid out plans to move “thousands” of civil servants out of London. However, according to the latest ONS estimates, in June 2019 the proportion of civil servants in London reached 20%, with smaller shifts in all other regions excluding the East of England. The plan to reduce the proportion based in London has not yet begun to bear fruit. As a result, this policy is ‘in progress’.

Fact file!

There's always room for debate

We’re serious about providing clear, up-to-date, non-partisan information. We focus on being consistent and fair in how we reach our verdicts, and always explain our reasoning. But there is always room for debate. So if you see it differently, we’d love you to tell us why. Or even better, submit an edit.