Wales Office civil servants survive Whitehall cull

Is this the only part of the public sector that's still growing?

Since May 2010, 57,000 civil service jobs have disappeared, but the Wales Office, which represents Welsh interests in the UK government, employs more people now than it did then. There were 10 per cent more staff on March 31 this year than 12 months earlier.

This is all the more curious as last year's referendum result means Ministers and officials no longer have to spend their time perusing legislative competence orders.

The Wales Office tells me that the current total is below its "staff complement" - the number of staff the department is allowed to have. This is now 64, one fewer than under Labour.

A spokeswoman adds: "Since May 2010, every single vacant post has been assessed on the basis of a business need and is only filled if agreed by the Wales Office director."

Four current members of staff are currently working their notice before leaving the civil service this summer which will cut the "full time equivalent" number of staff to 56.8 - still more than in March 2011.

Ministers and senior officials have tried to "change the skill set of staff at the Wales Office through early departure".

The "skill set" may have changed but you may struggle to find another Whitehall department that has more staff now than it did two years ago.