Lovegrove was the Permanent Secretary of the British Ministry of Defence. The Permenant Secrataries to British Cabinet Level ministries have no parallel in the American system. As a practical matter they are the Number 2 authority in each ministry and are not appointed by the Prime Minister or the Cabinet Minister. They are the most senior civil servants in the nation and have enormous power but are not political and cannot be appointed or removed fro political reasons. Cabinet Ministers come and go but Permanent Secretaries are just that--as Permanent as anything gets to be in government.
Stephen Lovegrove, Speech C-SPAN Radio, March 5, 2017