Critics blast ‘woke’ roles for civil servants

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Permanent secretaries at Government departments – effective heads of the ministries – have been working to promote race, gender, age and LGBT rights on top of their official duties.  Each is paid a basic salary of up to £200,000 and does not receive extra for these “tick-box” issues.

The TaxPayers’ Alliance said: “Taxpayers are fed up with funding wokeWhitehall. Politicians decide policy, so there is little need for top mandarins to be sermonising on social justice.Well-paid officials should focus on their day jobs and improving services for taxpayers.”

The civil servants include Antonia Romeo at the Ministry of Justice, who is a gender champion, Matthew Rycroft at the Home Office, who is race, faith and belief champion, and Alex Chisholm, head of the Cabinet Office who is champion for age, carers and culture. Also under fire are Sarah Healey of the Department for Culture, who is disability champion, Jim Harra, chief executive of HMRC, who is LGBT+ champion, and Bernadette Kelly, at Transport, who is social mobility champion.

The most visible are Ms Romeo and Mr Rycroft, who post messages on social media promoting causes.

Ms Romeo has served as the Civil Service’s gender champion since 2019.

Yesterday the Ministry of Justice said: “Antonia leads efforts across the Civil Service, working with permanent secretary colleagues, to cut the gender pay gap and promote equal rights, making sure brilliant women will dedicate their careers to public service.”

Mr Rycroft, who rubberstamped the decision to send illegal immigrants to Rwanda, has said he was satisfied it was a “regular, proper and feasible” policy.

He has previously tweeted that he was proud to be promoting equality and diversity.

The revelations came as Tory leadership hopeful Rishi Sunak promised to review the Equalities Act to stop “woke nonsense permeating public life”.

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