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All hail Mad Frankie Maude, noble Lord of Cabinet Office Axemen

Scourge of Whitehall handed ermine-trimmed chopper

Former Cabinet Office minister and architect of the coalition government's IT spending controls Francis Maude has been handed a life peerage.

The announcement means Mad Frankie can can continue to wield his axe against the IT "oligopoly" behind the scenes and in perpetuity from the House of Lords.

Maude announced he would be stepping down from the role in February. During his tenure Maude placed a moratorium on IT contracts over £100m, and oversaw the creation of the government digital service (GDS), as well as slashing the rest of Whitehall by one fifth.

However, it has been observed that the cost savings made from the Cabinet Office's IT reform programme over the last five years have been through its contract negotiations, rather than as a result of its digital services.

Matt Hancock MP is to assume Maude's former role as minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, and will be responsible for its IT reform programme.

As well as being created a peer, Maude was also appointed Minister of State, Trade and Investment – a title he holds across the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

He is one of six to be ennobled. The full list included Ros Altmann CBE, George Bridges, Andrew Dunlop, Jim O’Neill and David Prior. ®

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