Government Hatchet Man wasn't entirely off base, though Cutter's words were meant as an insult. Early on in his career, Sir James Lester decided that the power he really wished to wield was the power behind the scenes. The Ministry, while appealing in its way, had too much public accountability for Lester's tastes. Better to be the man behind the scenes, the one who can weather the ups and downs of public service, because that's where the real power lay. And although some facets of Lester's career certainly resembled hatchet work, not all of it did.
But when these anomalies started occurring – or at least were revealed – Lester found his true calling. Nothing quite like a massive cover-up, coupled with the opportunity to garner knowledge no-one else in the world could, to excite him in a way that few challenges in his long career had. Lester dove into running the government's response to these anomalies with a ferocity that occasionally surprised even himself. He felt not only a fierce need to control and direct the operation, but also a strong sense of possession.
Which of course was why Christine Johnson's operation posed such a threat.
And why he upgraded Becker's orders regarding Helen Cutter to 'shoot on sight'.
And why he allowed Temple – mess and pets and all – to reside in his pied a'terre.
Standing at the rail overlooking the central atrium, he watched Temple fuss with the programming of the A.D.D., being lightly teased and flirted with by Maitland, while Dr. Page, visible through the large windows of all the labs that faced onto the atrium, carefully cleaned the artifact, while Quinn and Becker no doubt were off fussing with some aspect of the facilities security.
This was his domain. This was his place. And like any top predator, he'd defend his territory to the death.