The Conservatives' vision for government transformation

While the Conservatives may be behind in the opinion polls - and there's still (checks watch) a couple of weeks to go - many of the programmes trailed in this manifesto are likely to form the basis of the public sector reform agenda whoever wins the election.

The Conservatives' vision for government transformation

2024 Conservative Party Manifesto

The Conservative Party's 2024 manifesto outlines a series of plans aimed at transforming public services, enhancing efficiency, and driving digital innovation across government sectors. 

Digital transformation

The manifesto emphasises the modernisation of public services through significant investment in digital technologies.

A core objective is to "double digital and AI expertise in the civil service" to leverage the latest technologies for transforming public services.

The NHS App is set to become the single front door for NHS services, allowing patients to access medical records, order prescriptions, and manage appointments digitally.

The manifesto outlines their plans to cut government "bureaucracy" and improve efficiency, including:

  • Returning the civil service to its pre-pandemic size to fund increased defence spending to 2.5% of GDP.
  • Halving the amount of taxpayers’ money spent on external consultants and introducing controls on all ‘Equality, Diversity and Inclusion’ initiatives and spending.
  • Bringing quango spending under control, after 14 years in power
  • Moving 25,000 more civil servants outside of London, building on successes like the Darlington Economic Campus and hubs in Stoke-on-Trent and Wolverhampton.
  • Opening up civil service recruitment by requiring jobs to be advertised externally to identify the best candidates.
  • Doubling digital and AI expertise in the civil service to take advantage of the latest technologies to transform public services.

These reforms are aimed at achieving a significant productivity boost in Whitehall - as the manifesto states, "If we returned public sector productivity to pre-pandemic levels that would deliver up to £20 billion of annual savings."

Data governance & security

The manifesto highlights the importance of data governance and security in several areas. There is a strong focus on maintaining the UK’s position as a leader in AI and innovation, with promises to “invest over £1.5 billion in large-scale compute clusters” and to support research into the safe and responsible use of AI. These investments are expected to bolster the public sector's capabilities in data management and advanced analytics.

Furthermore, the Conservative Party commits to "strengthening cyber defenses and national security laws to protect the nation from terrorists and hostile state actors.” This will include measures to enhance the security of digital public services and protect sensitive government data from cyber threats.

Cost-savings & operational transformation

In an effort to streamline government operations and reduce costs, the manifesto outlines plans to halve the amount of money spent on external consultants and to return the civil service to its pre-pandemic size. These measures are intended to free up resources that can be reinvested in essential public services and digital transformation projects.

The manifesto also aims to modernise the procurement system to make it easier for small businesses to compete for public contracts, promoting innovation and efficiency in public service delivery.


The manifesto's ambitious goal for the NHS app is to transform it into the primary gateway for accessing NHS services. Patients will have the convenience of managing their medical records, prescriptions, vaccine appointments, digital red book, and hospital appointments all through the app.

This initiative holds the potential to impact digital poverty in various ways, depending on its execution. It could simplify and streamline the multitude of medical apps and websites currently required for accessing NHS services, making the process less confusing and more user-friendly.

By enhancing support and patient training, it may boost confidence in using online services effectively. 



The manifesto proposes extensive devolution measures to empower local authorities and drive regional growth - with a promises to invest £36 billion in local transport projects and infrastructure, including funds for potholes, road resurfacing, and local public transport improvements. Unlike the Labour manifesto, there is no commitment to multi-year financial settlements.

Additionally, the manifesto highlights plans to “move 25,000 more civil servants outside of London,” building on the success of regional hubs like the Darlington Economic Campus.

This decentralisation effort is intended to enhance local government capabilities and ensure that regional perspectives are adequately represented in national policy-making.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery

Although the Conservatives may currently trail in the opinion polls, with only a couple of weeks left until the election, the initiatives outlined in this manifesto are poised to shape the future of public sector reform regardless of the election outcome.

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