The atmosphere got very tense very quickly at the Home Affairs Committee as Home Office permanent secretary Matthew Rycroft and his second Simon Ridley dodged questions on Rwanda. The top civil servants refused to clearly answer queries on whether any more money had been sent to the Rwandan government, how many Rwandans will be sent to the UK, and migrant backlong numbers. The civil servants were more than happy to fob off key questions to ministers…
Committee chairman Diana Johnson said it was “really disrespectful to this committee that you don’t come prepared for questions” after Ridley failed to produce figures on the migrant backlog. Lee Anderson was so exasperated with the non-answers, he gave up: “That’s me done chair, I can’t ask any more questions“. Like getting blood from a stone…
The Taxpayers’ Alliance have revealed that in 2022-23, twenty leading civil servants had an average pension pot of £1.1 million, a combined amount worth £21 million. Currently, the lifetime pension pot allowance is set at £1,073,100…
Matthew Rycroft, permanent secretary at the Home Office had the largest accrued pension of £102,500, despite the fact he’s been the one to oversee the surge in illegal channel crossings. Sir Philip Barton, permanent under-secretary at the Foreign Office, had a pension pot worth over £2,016,000. The retirement pension for these 20 civil servants is expected to average £65,921, double the amount the average gross UK private sector salary in 2023. Nice work if you can get it…
Home Office Permanent Secretary Matthew Rycroft reportedly went “shouty crackers” yesterday over Suella / CCHQ’s letter attacking “left wing civil servants” frustrating the government’s small boats plan. Given he’s so upset over this supposedly unwarranted criticism, Guido’s had a look back over the noises coming out of the Home Office in the last few years. Remember: these civil servants are supposed to serve the government of the day with total impartiality…
Last night on Peston, the Home Secretary disavowed the email and gave an unconvincing and less than sincere endorsement of her “hardworking and dedicated civil servants” – whilst not explicitly disagreeing with the “activist blob” sentiment:
Why should she, given:
Then, of course, are the repeated stories of Home Office mandarins spreading woke nonsense like encouraging the use of “neopronouns”, claiming “homosexual” is an offensive word, and advising people not to call their colleagues “mates“. The Home Office is notorious for this sort of thing; clearly there is massive internal resistance to enforcing the policies of the government of the day. Guido has repeatedly been told in private just how obstructive the Home Office civil servants have been. There is obviously a pattern, whether Rycroft wants to go “shouty crackers” or not…
Fresh from trying to frustrate the government’s plans to deport illegal migrants to Rwanda, Home Office permanent secretary Matthew Rycroft has come up with a new tactic: Ignore the democratic will of the government altogether.
A leaked memo, seen by The Telegraph and now published in full by Guido, shows Rycroft dictate the priorities of his department to his hordes of civil servants insubordinate to elected ministers. Namely:
Nothing on immigration numbers, nothing on small boats, nothing on getting Rwanda up and running. The priorities of the government and more importantly the voters are of no consequence to Rycroft.
Jacob Rees-Mogg told the Telegraph, “Permanent secretaries, and all officials, are responsible for making this a reality. One would expect the most senior officials to consider this their duty.” Nigel Farage reacted furiously, calling on Rycroft to be fired.
Despite outrage from the right, a Home Office source said Rycroft is a “great public servant and this isn’t isn’t an over-arching reflection of his or the Home Office’s priorities.” It’s an easy get out for the Tories after 13 years of government to blame lack of policy progress on the civil service working against them, but can anyone name one example of right wing sympathies within the institution?
UPDATE: A Home Office spokesperson says tersely:
“The Permanent Secretary works tirelessly to drive Home Office efforts to tackle the public’s priorities, including stopping illegal migration, cutting crime, supporting vulnerable people and protecting homeland security.”
The Free Speech Union has written to Matthew Rycroft, the Permanent Secretary at the Home Office, to complain about a directive to Home Office staff to include their pronouns in their email signatures. They are concerned that this instruction, which appears to be mandatory, is a form of compelled speech that violates the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion and the right to free speech (Articles 9 and 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights). They also argue it is a breach of the Equality Act.
Staff in the Visa, Status and Information Services department have been instructed to format their email signatures to include their pronouns on their email signatures:
[Name of unit] | Visa, Status and Information Services
Customer Services Group | UK Visas and Immigration
Address/office location [on one line – e.g. Level 3, Foundry House, Sheffield]
T: +44 (0)XX XXXX XXXX
M: +44 (0)XX XXXX XXXX
OUR VSI Our People Our Operations Our Customers
This is they have been told because of “the wider cultural changes” taking shape in the department. The Free Speech Union is asking the Home Office’s Permanent Secretary to ensure that no employee is penalised for refusing to include their pronouns in their email signatures and to make it clear to civil servants that stating pronouns on email signatures is not, and must not become, mandatory. They are hopeful of success because Matthew Rycroft has not included his pronouns on his official uk.gov biography…