Top official says ‘Sue Gray may have broken the rules of impartiality by holding secret meetings’
A senior official has privately raised concerns that Sue Gray broke impartiality rules by holding secret meetings with Sir Keir Starmer, it was alleged yesterday.
Susan Acland-Hood, permanent secretary for the Department of Education, is said to have raised concerns in an online Zoom call with colleagues.
The Telegraph reported that in reminding other officials of their duty of impartiality, she said Sue Gray, who becomes Sir Keir’s chief of staff, “presents a real challenge in acting in a way that deserves the trust of ministers and keeps”.
The permanent secretary role is the most senior official in a government department.
Ms Acland-Hood reportedly went through the Civil Service Code of Impartiality line by line, telling colleagues: “People who are saying there is a problem with this appointment because if Sue ever has political beliefs like Labour’s in her career party, she can.” If you weren’t a proper civil servant, don’t understand that the Civil Service Act doesn’t require that we don’t have political beliefs, it says that we don’t allow our political beliefs to be the way affect how we do our work.
A senior official has privately raised concerns that Sue Gray (pictured) broke impartiality rules by holding secret meetings with Sir Keir Starmer, it was alleged yesterday
Susan Acland-Hood (pictured), permanent secretary for the Department of Education, is said to have raised concerns in an online Zoom call with colleagues
“The next part is the part where I think some people are right to think there is a difficulty with this appointment.
“So you must act in a way that earns and keeps ministers’ trust, while also ensuring that you will be able to develop the same relationship with those you may have to serve in a future government.
“All I want to say is that I think it is a real challenge to act in a way that earns and retains the trust of ministers, for someone so senior to reach a position so quickly in that way.
“I don’t really understand how that could have happened without there being any prior contact that you shouldn’t have without reporting it.”
Ms Acland-Hood concluded with a strong warning: “If anyone gets contact from the leader of the opposition or any member of the shadow cabinet, you should tell your permanent secretary immediately.”
Ms Gray faces questions as to whether she has complied with this requirement under the Public Service Code of Conduct.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk
https://www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com/celebrity/top-civil-servant-says-sue-gray-may-have-broken-impartiality-rules-by-holding-secret-meetings/ Top official says ‘Sue Gray may have broken the rules of impartiality by holding secret meetings’