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Wednesday 13 January 2021

Penman condemns “reckless and destructive” attacks on Leslie Evans

©Visual Eye/Dods

FDA General Secretary Dave Penman has defended the Permanent Secretary to the Scottish government against what he describes as a “media campaign, egged on by rent-a-quote politicians, which is aimed at hounding Ms Evans out of her role”.

Penman made the comments in an article for the Times Scotland, in which explained that civil servants like Leslie Evans “are constitutionally unable to make public comment, even to defend themselves”.

“That is why attacks on them are so egregious, because politicians know they are convenient punch bags,” he added.

While acknowledging that people will have their own opinions on whether she is doing a good job, the FDA General Secretary stressed that it was up to the First Minister to decide whether Evans retains her confidents “and for politicians to hold the first minister to account for that decision”.

He warned that the trend of politicians publicly attacking civil servants was a “reckless and destructive tactic”, telling political leaders they should be worried about the “profound, long-term impact” it will have on public services.

“We need to continue to attract and retain the highest quality public servants for demanding jobs,” he said. “But who would want to serve a government if they knew that their professional reputation would be trashed as soon as it was politically expedient to do so?”

His comments were also covered in a follow up story for the Times Scotland.

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