26 September 2023

UNITED KINGDOM: MPs accused of undermining PS

Start the conversation


UK politicians have been accused of a “systematic and deliberate undermining” of Public Servants trying to give impartial advice on the major issues of the day.

General Secretary of the FDA union representing senior PS employees, Dave Penman (pictured) said both ends of the political spectrum were guilty, but it was acute among hardline supporters of the UK leaving the European Union (Brexit).

However, he said left-wing politicians were also pursuing an anti–Public Service agenda.

Chief Brexit negotiator, Olly Robbins has been the subject of intense media attention, most recently in relation to reports that Minister in Charge of Brexit, David Davis had called for Mr Robbins to be sacked.

Another recent high-profile attack on officials came when Conservative backbencher Jacob Rees Mogg and Junior Brexit Minister, Steve Baker both accused Treasury officials of lacking impartiality in producing an analysis that was in favour of the UK remaining in the European Customs Union.

Mr Baker subsequently issued a clarification insisting that he had not sought to portray Treasury officials as biased.

Mr Penman said the current political landscape was increasingly polarised, with “ideological evangelists” seeking to undermine the Public Service’s values of impartiality, integrity and professionalism when objective analysis did not suit their particular agenda.

“They don’t welcome truth being spoken to power because they have an unshakeable belief in only one truth,” Mr Penman said.

“On the right, we have seen the systematic and deliberate undermining of the Civil Service by those who are troubled by the challenging facts around our exit from the EU.”

He said they have sought to paint the Civil Service as a Remainer resistance movement, undermining the will of the people.

Mr Penman said there had been a constant drip-feed of stories as fantastical as the targeting of Brexit donors for tax liabilities to the digging up of essays written by PS staff when they were at university.

“On the left, the Civil Service is being painted as part of the establishment conspiracy by those around the Labour leader who openly suggest that, once in power, the Civil Service will seek to undermine the will of a Socialist Government,” Mr Penman said.

London, 11 May 2018

Start the conversation

Be among the first to get all the Public Sector and Defence news and views that matter.

Subscribe now and receive the latest news, delivered free to your inbox.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.