Date of release: Thursday, November 27, 2014

Sir Leigh LewisA first-hand account of life behind the scenes in government will be presented at the University of Greenwich’s next Big Picture seminar.

Sir Leigh Lewis, who headed a major UK government department as its Permanent Secretary for over five years, and is now a Visiting Fellow in the university’s Business School, will talk frankly and give unique insights about his time in government.

His talk, The Real Yes Minister – the truth about ministers and mandarins, which alludes to the popular BBC political sitcom, takes place on Wednesday 3 December at the Greenwich Campus. The event is free to attend but registration is essential, with details below.

He will discuss how Ministers and Permanent Secretaries actually work together in Whitehall departments and whether there are lessons to be learned from this relationship, not just in the UK but elsewhere in the world.

Sir Leigh Lewis was Permanent Secretary at the Department for Work and Pensions from 2005 until his retirement from the Civil Service at the end of 2010.

During his long and distinguished career, he also became Chief Executive of the Employment Service in 1997, and was the first Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus in 2001. From 2003 to 2005 he was Permanent Secretary for Crime, Policing and Counter-terrorism in the Home Office and was in that role at the time of the 7/7 attacks.

Since retiring from the Civil Service he has become the Vice-Chair of London-based homelessness charity, St Mungo’s Broadway, and chaired the Bill of Rights Commission for the Government. He is Chair of Drinkaware, the alcohol education charity.

He is co-author, with John Hutton, of How To Be A Minister : A 21st Century Guide, published by Biteback.

Run by the university’s Business School, the Big Picture seminar series gives high-profile speakers a chance to share their expertise with students, staff and the general public. Subjects include entrepreneurship, leadership and management, the economy and the media.

The seminar takes place from 5pm at the Greenwich Campus. To register:

To find out more about studying with the Business School:, email or call 020 8331 9000.

Story by Public Relations

Picture: Sir Leigh Lewis.