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Tory leader apologizes for Braverman email attacking civil service ‘blob’

Tory leader apologizes for Braverman email attacking civil service ‘blob’

Conservative chairman Greg Hands apologized for an email sent on behalf of Suella Braverman attacking civil servants as part of an “activist stain”.

An email sent to Tory on behalf of the home secretary – who accused Whitehall officials of trying to block a crackdown on small boats along with Labor and “left wing lawyers” – sparked outrage among trade unions.

In a letter sent to the PCS union, which represents government staff, Cabinet Secretary Simon Case said the government had taken swift action to address the “mistake”.

Mr Case told the union he had spoken to Mr Hands “who apologized for the error” and said he took anything “that might undermine our impartiality extremely seriously”.

An official in the top 10 said: “He has assured me that he has already taken action to change procedures at the CCHQ (Conservative Campaign Headquarters) to ensure that this incident does not happen again.”

The Tory leader also offered to “ensure that attacks on the civil service are not part of any standard CCHQ lines”, said Case.

The CCHQ email sent to supporters on behalf of Ms Braverman read: “We have tried to stop small boat crossings without changing our regulations. But an activist group of left wing lawyers, civil servants and Labor blocked us.”

But the home secretary insisted she had not sanctioned the widely criticized message, prompting an internal CCHQ investigation.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said the “outrageous attack” on officials over the controversial asylum crackdown was “a denigration of the civil service’s political impartiality”.

FDA civil service union leader Dave Penman also described the email as a “cowardly attack on civil servants” and urged Ms Braverman to apologize.

In his response to the PCS, Mr Case said: “You will see that the home secretary made it clear that she did not see, sign or sanction the email. She also wrote to the staff of the Ministry of Interior to thank them for their outstanding work on the Illegal Migration Act.

CCHQ said last week that “the wording has not been seen by the Home Secretary” and is now “reviewing” its internal clearing processes.

Distancing himself from remarks No. 10, Mr Sunak’s press secretary said there were “operational issues” at CCHQ that “we will have to review”.

House of Commons leader Penny Mordaunt said last week that ministers needed to “motivate” the civil service and take responsibility for their “areas”, after an email inquiry.

Ms Mordaunt said the government needed to “motivate the people we work with, whether they are in the civil service or in the organizations we work with.”


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