More than 90,000 civil servants are likely to lose their jobs in an attempt by Boris Johnson to find money to ease the cost of living crisis.
The prime minister is understood to have tasked the cabinet with cutting staff by a fifth, telling them every bit of cash saved on government spending could be better used elsewhere.
He is thought to have made the demand to ministers during an away day in Stoke-on-Trent on Thursday.
“We have got to cut the cost of government to reduce the cost of living,” he told the Daily Mail.
He hinted at future tax cuts, suggesting the billions saved from reducing civil servant numbers could help fund such measures.