Liz Truss has been criticised for the “unwise and unconstitutional” sacking of a top civil servant.

Tom Scholar was axed as the permanent secretary at the Treasury on Kwasi Kwarteng’s first day as chancellor.

He said Kwarteng had decided it was time for “new leadership” but that he would be “cheering on from the sidelines” in future.

However, the move has been criticised for former senior members of the civil service.

Sir Simon McDonald, the former permanent under-secretary at the Foreign Office, said “parliament needs to act”.

He tweeted: “Cabinet ministers sacking permanent secretaries on their 1st day in office is unwise & unconstitutional but the government has discovered it can do what it wants with the civil service, which has no power to resist.

“The retired complain, but so what? Parliament needs to act.”

He was responding to a letter in The Times by Sir David Normington, who was permanent secretary at the Home Office between 2006 and 2010.

He said: “The sad fact is that in sacking Sir Tom Scholar, one of the ablest civil servants of his generation, the prime minister and chancellor have sent a clear message to the civil service that they are not interested in impartial advice and intend to surround themselves with ‘yes’ men and women.

“That is a sure route to bad decision-making and weak government.”

Scholar’s sacking came after Truss made clear during the Tory leadership contest that she wanted to challenge the Treasury “orthodoxy” on how to run the economy.

Kwarteng will next week use a mini-budget to unveil the government’s plan to slash taxes to boost economic growth.

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