Jacob Rees-Mogg to sell off Civil Service offices as staff refuse to stop working from home

Mr Rees-Mogg has been campaigning against civil servants working from home in the wake of the Covid pandemic.

In April, it emerged that he was making “spot checks” at offices to monitor occupancy rates. Senior mandarins were ordered to publish figures on how full their offices were in an attempt to name and shame the worst performing departments.

Occupancy data showed the crackdown brought more staff back to the office across most departments. However, it appeared to fall flat in some parts of Whitehall, with just half of desks in the Westminster headquarters of the Home Office occupied at the end of June.

Commenting on the forthcoming property sales, Mr Rees-Mogg told The Telegraph: “We have seen over the last year that expensive office space in central London has been under-utilised. Why should the taxpayer be made to fork out for half-empty buildings?

“But moving civil servants to our beautiful counties and towns through the Places for Growth programme will benefit everyone, giving civil servants a better quality of life and helping economic growth outside the capital.

“We are cutting the cost of the public estate so that we can return money to the taxpayer. All spending on government property needs to be justified.”

Moving Civil Service jobs out of London would “allow greater savings and mean the Government is closer to the communities it serves”, he said.

The property strategy also includes a pledge to invest £300 million in funding to unlock smaller, brownfield sites across England for housing.

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