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Civil servants face compulsory redundancies and some government work will be “deprioritised” in Boris Johnson ’s drive to slash 91,000 jobs, a leaked memo reveals.

Departments have been told to draw up cuts of 20%, 30% or 40% by March 2025 in a desperate bid to free up cash to tackle the cost of living.

Plans to pause the ‘fast stream’ for civil service entrants have also provoked a backlash.

Now a report sent to Whitehall departments, obtained by the Times, has reportedly said some government activity will need to be “deprioritised”.

It added: “Departments should also include an initial assessment of the extent to which it might be necessary to use voluntary exit schemes or redundancies (voluntary and compulsory) so this can be considered as part of wider planning.”

It went on: “All civil servants within your departmental group are in scope, including those working in executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies.”

The PM will cut the number of jobs by a fifth ( PA)

That is despite the fact Labour and unions have warned job cuts would worsen backlogs in the Passport Office and DVLA.

Labour previously claimed Tory cuts to the Passport Office – where people are facing delays of up to 10 weeks and in a small number of cases, longer than that – could see 8,000 fewer applications processed each day.

Boris Johnson prompted outrage and threats of a strike by the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) when the plans were first briefed to a right-wing newspaper last month.

Unions branded it a “reckless slash and burn” to public services and warned hard choices would be needed if the staffing levels are significantly reduced.

But the Prime Minister defended the cuts yesterday, saying in a speech in Blackpool: “It cannot be right that the size of central government has increased by 23% since 2015. There are 91,000 more officials than there were.

“I believe we have the best civil service in the world – but in view of the pressures on families, we must now find efficiencies and prune Whitehall back to the size it was only five or six years ago.

“Something we can achieve without harming the public services they deliver.”

He added: “Sometimes the best way that Government can help is simply to get out of the way. To do less or better, or simply not at all.”

A government spokesperson did not dispute the veracity of the memo, saying: “Ministers are working on plans for how to achieve 2016 levels and are considering a range of options as part of this work.”

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