Migrant boats: Now The Blob bites back
‘Ashamed’ civil servants lodge slew of complaints saying Bill breaks law
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’