Sunday 30 June 2019 / 12:20 PM Uncategorised

Jon Trickett writes to Mark Sedwill to call for an investigation into apparent breach of civil service neutrality

Jon Trickett MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office, has today (Sunday) written to the Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service, Mark Sedwill, to call for an investigation, independent of the Cabinet Office, into the apparent breach of civil service neutrality reported in the Times on Saturday.
In the letter, Jon Trickett describes the matter as a “totally unwarranted and indeed unconstitutional political intervention with disturbing implications for our democratic system” and formally requests a meeting with the Cabinet Secretary to discuss the matter.
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Notes to Editors
  • Full text of the letter
Dear Mr Sedwill
I am writing in connection with the articles today in The Times on Saturday, which you will have seen.
These pieces offer a credible account of conversations at a senior level in the civil service about the Leader of the Opposition, the Rt Hon Jeremy Corbyn MP
The premise of these conversations is the allegation that Mr Corbyn’s health is poor. This is manifestly untrue.
Discussion of these matters, based on false assumptions, should not be taking place. Worse, it is without precedent in my experience that any high-level discussion about senior politicians, let alone the leader of the Opposition, should be shared with a newspaper.
I must now formally say to you that it is hard to avoid the conclusion that this has been a totally unwarranted and indeed unconstitutional political intervention with disturbing implications for our democratic system.
There clearly needs to be an investigation into what appears to have been a breach of civil service neutrality, independent of the Cabinet Office, in order to avoid any real or apparent conflicts of interest.
I am also writing formally to request a meeting with you to discuss this deeply concerning development, when I hope you will be able to give clear assurances that the basic principles of British public life will not be undermined.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Jon Trickett MP
Shadow Minister at the Cabinet Office