Past Prime Ministers paid tribute to Civil Service chief Sir Jeremy Hayward at Westminster Abbey memorial service

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ALL five living PMs yesterday paid tribute to civil service chief Sir Jeremy Heywood

Lord Heywood, who served as Britain’s most senior mandarin, died from cancer in November aged just 56.

PA:Press Association

David Cameron, Deputy PM Nick Clegg, Tony Blair, Theresa May, Gordon Brown and John Major — not pictured — paid tribute to top mandarin Sir Jeremy Heywood[/caption]

PA:Press Association

Lord Heywood quit the post last October as he battled cancer, but tragically died just 10 days later[/caption]

Theresa May led the tributes at the packed Westminster Abbey memorial service, hailing him as “not just an extraordinary adviser but an extraordinary doer”.

She said: “The legend of Britain’s Civil Service should no longer be the fictional story of Sir Humphrey but rather the true story of Sir Jeremy, the greatest public servant of our time.”

David Cameron praised him as a “good man in every sense of the word”.

He added: “Loyal, incredibly hard-working, a team player and with a deep moral sense of right and wrong. He possessed a huge brain and he devoted it to public service, and the nation should be grateful.”

Tony Blair said: “He was calm in crisis. His fellow staff adored him. I depended on him and when he was gone I felt his absence like an ache.”


Lord Heywood rose through the ranks to become Cabinet Secretary and head of the civil service.

He quit the post last October as he battled cancer, but tragically died just 10 days later.

His wife, Suzanne, his family and friends, were also at the hour-long service.

The Abbey’s bells were rung at the end of the service, in a mark of respect.

PA:Press Association

Prime Minister Theresa May speaks with Lord Heywood’s widow Suzanne[/caption]


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