Jacob Rees-Mogg has intervened in the Commons debate on Robert Buckland’s urgent question with his particular flair. He questioned whether Gray’s appointment had undermined the civil service:
“One of the most senior civil servants in the country was conniving in secret meetings with the party of opposition. Does this not undervalue years of advice and reports that she has given: her views on devolution which were known constantly to be soft, her report into the right honourable member the member for Uxbridge which we now know was done by a friend of the socialists. Does this not undermine all her previous work and the idea of an independent civil service?”
Jeremy Quin agreed with Jacob that he was “deeply worried” for the implications for civil service impartiality. He added Labour was “playing fast and loose” with the rules.
Paymaster General and Cabinet Office Minister Jeremy Quin has slammed Sue Gray’s appointment as Starmer’s Chief of Staff, claiming her nomination may have breached ACoBA rules:
“The rules state that approval must be obtained prior to a job offer being announced. The Cabinet Office has not as yet been informed that the relevant notification to ACoBA has been made.”
He added it was an “exceptional and unprecedented” appointment that threatens the integrity of the Civil Service. In total, it appears four separate rules have been breached. Angela Rayner is immediately claiming this is some kind of “conspiracy“, and there’s nothing to see here. No wonder Starmer was so evasive this morning…