Varney’s the invisible man

David_varneyTS noticed there was no sign of David Varney, chairman of HMRC, at last week’s Hardman Memorial Lecture at the ICAEW.

In fact, there is rarely any sign of him at the big events in tax these days, leading some gossips, of which TS is one, to ask how much longer he will retain his position atop the tax tree.

Varney has been mauled by several select committees recently, and few MPs seem to warm to him. If he were to depart early, of course, it would be very embarrassing for the government, who triumphantly presented him when he was appointed as evidence that the public sector could attract private sector talent (he was chairman of mm02).

Dave Hartnett, HMRC director general, always seems to have a grin on his face. Does he know something we don’t?

Related reading