Government to investigate false claims to media by senior civil servants after Corbyn demands action – but there will be no independent investigation. But civil service code raises question: which minister approved?
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has written to Cabinet Secretary Sir Mark Sedwill to demand an independent investigation into comments leaked to media by an unnamed senior civil servant claiming, falsely, that Corbyn’s health is ‘frail’:
The government has instead begun its own investigation into the comments, for a breach of civil service neutrality.
But neutrality rules are not the only aspect of the civil service code that the comments breached – and the rule that has not been mentioned may well explain why the government has declined to order an independent investigation.
The ‘Integrity’ section of the code also states that any communication with the media must first be approved by a government minister:
It’s bad enough that such misleading comments were made, but it’s unthinkable that a senior civil servant would leak directly to the media without ‘Ministerial authorisation’.
An independent investigation would be very likely to dig into such details, while a Cabinet Office investigation certainly will not – or will not reveal them if it does.
How terrified the Tories must be of Jeremy Corbyn, in spite of constant political and media attacks on him and his allies.
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