Our letter to party leaders
Today, FDA General Secretary Dave Penman and Prospect General Secretary Mike Clancy have sent a letter to the leaders of all the major UK political parties.
The two union heads have joined forces to ask these leaders to defend the civil service principles of impartiality and integrity from those who would seek to attack them.
The full letter has been published below.
After escalating criticism and questions about impartiality, culminating in the forced resignation of Sir Kim Darroch, the time has come for the political leaders in our country to unequivocally back our public services and those who work in them.
As two of the main civil service unions, we are today writing to all the leaders of the main parties in the UK and asking them to sign our pledge:
· To maintain the impartiality and integrity of the civil service.
· To defend those principles, and those who seek to uphold them, from political attack.
· To encourage the civil service to provide robust evidence-based advice to inform the development of government policy.
For too long the integrity and political impartiality of our public servants have been questioned and their characters impugned by those on both sides of the political divide. Political failures on Brexit have been attributed to a lack of will on the part of the civil service. Figures on all sides have said that the civil service is acting against them, is working to undermine them, or has some kind of secret deep state agenda. None of these are true and it seriously damages both public faith in vital services, and the morale of those on the receiving end who are unable to defend themselves.
This is a time of growing global turmoil and no peacetime government has ever been so reliant on its civil service and other public institutions. They are getting on with their jobs while our MPs play politics with the country’s future.
In supporting this pledge you will not only demonstrate your commitment to an impartial and professional civil service, but also send a clear message to the hundreds of thousands of civil servants that loyally serve the government of the day that you will use your best efforts to defend them.
Mike Clancy, Prospect General Secretary; Dave Penman, General Secretary of the FDA