Daily Mail

Migrant boats: Now The Blob bites back

‘Ashamed’ civil servants lodge slew of complaints saying Bill breaks law

- By David Barrett Home Affairs Editor

HOME Office civil servants lodged a flood of complaints about Suella Braverman’s new asylum policy yesterday, with one suggesting it breaches internatio­nal law.

A slew of anonymous negative comments came during an online question and answer session for civil servants within the department.

One said they were ‘ embarrasse­d and ashamed’ of measures in the Illegal Migration Bill, which set out earlier this week how all Channel migrants will be detained and disqualifi­ed from claiming asylum.

Another wrote: ‘At what point are senior leadership in the Home Office willing to state that breaking internatio­nal law is not consistent with the civil service code or our values and that we as staff should not be expected to do so in our work?’

A third claimed they were struggling to balance ‘my own personal ethical conviction­s’ with the Home Secretary’s ‘rhetoric and policies’. The civil service code says

‘Embarrasse­d and ashamed’

workers must ‘serve the Government, whatever its political persuasion’ and not allow ‘ personal political views’ to influence their work.

A Home Office spokesman said: ‘As a department we always encourage the free exchange of ideas and want to thank all colleagues who have been involved in preparatio­ns for the introducti­on of the Illegal Migration Bill.

‘While we appreciate there may be a range of views on government policy, all civil servants are bound by the civil service code and its core values: integrity, honesty, objectivit­y and impartiali­ty – and it is key that this is upheld at all times.’

It came amid a row over an email to Tory supporters under Mrs Braverman’s name that said an ‘activist blob of Left-wing lawyers, civil servants and the Labour Party’ had ‘blocked’ past attempts to tackle illegal immigratio­n.

The Conservati­ve Central Office (CCHQ) email was re- sent five minutes later with the passage removed. Dave Penman, leader of the FDA civil service trade union, accused Mrs Braverman of a ‘cowardly attack’. He wrote to Mr Sunak to complain the email was ‘factually incorrect’ and amounted to a ‘direct attack on the integrity and impartiali­ty’ of civil servants.

Mike Clancy, boss of the Prospect civil service union, also wrote to the Prime Minister to demand he ‘take action’ over the message.

He said: ‘Blaming civil servants in this way without foundation and without following due process is, we believe, a breach of the min

isterial code and playing politics with those dedicated to serving the Government of the day, and is completely unacceptab­le.’

Downing Street said Mrs Braverman ‘did not see, sign off or sanction’ the email.

The PM’s press secretary said: ‘Obviously there would have to be ministeria­l sign- off usually on things where their name is included on it or it goes out in their name, but in this case the procedure was not followed.’

A Tory party spokesman said it was reviewing its internal clearance processes. Mrs Braverman said of the message: ‘It was an error really that it was sent out.’

‘Personal ethical conviction­s’

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