Chris Wormald, permanent secretary, Department for Education
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Civil servant defends party hats game

A senior official at the Department for Education is questioned by MPs after admitting senior officials played with party hats at a cuts meeting before Christmas.

A senior official at the Department for Education has faced criticism from a committee of MPs after admitting that his colleagues had played with party hats at a meeting before Christmas.

Civil servants were accused of being "crass and insensitive" for using the game to discuss Department for Education cuts.

Chris Wormald, the permanent secretary at the department, said "there was a game that did involve hats", but added that claims it had been about staff cuts were inaccurate - it was about the officials' individual goals, he said.

Committee chair Graham Stuart described Mr Wormald's explanation as "even funnier" than the original press coverage of the incident.