Lisa Nandy graced the Institute for Government conference this afternoon, only to be welcomed and endorsed by an audience member who openly admitted to being a serving senior civil servant. The audience member introduced herself as Grace Duffy, and told the Labour frontbencher “it’s so great to have you.”
“Hi, I’m Grace Duffy from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities! No it’s so great to have you. I was wondering if you could tell us a little bit more about your views on how we address the problems in the housing market, particularly the role of the private renting sector. I was particularly struck by the comment you made about housing being a human right and how that relates to the view of not just the private renting sector but housing as either a financial product or as an investment; and how that relates to the human rights thing.
Also as someone who just moved out of London, just strong agree on the buses, it is such an enourmous source of frustration.”
Using her question to twice agree with her boss’s opponent seems like a pretty cut-and-dry incident of breaching the Civil Service Code, which requires the blob to “maintain political impartiality… no matter what your own political beliefs are.” It adds, “You must not: act in a way that is determined by party political considerations”. Grace Duffy is the Head of Private Rented Sector Dispute Resolution & Non-Traditional Tenures. She’s been a civil servant since 2014 – surely she should know better…