Govt will investigate ‘civil service breach’ re Corbyn – but which MINISTER authorised it?

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.

The SKWAWKBOX needs your support. This blog is provided free of charge but depends on the generosity of its readers to be viable. If you can afford to, please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal or here for a monthly donation via GoCardless. Thanks for your solidarity so this blog can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.

If you wish to reblog this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.


  1. Wouldn’t suspicion fall most naturally on Theresa May or Mark Sedwill as head of the civil service? He’s got form but my money’s still on May – nothing to lose and maybe some shred of credibility to be wrung from it – in the eyes of her glaucomic Tory congregation at least.

  2. I noticed they referred to the Brexit meetings between labour and TM side .I also noted just after this story broke a high ranking civil servant resigned ,now who was his boss again? And did OR go or was he pushed ? I am looking forward to the expose to be included in a new series of Hercule Poirot possible back drop of virgin trains

  3. Attack is the best form of defence, so they say:

    EXCL Civil service union chief accuses Jeremy Corbyn of peddling ‘conspiracies’ over health row

    A senior trade union boss has accused Jeremy Corbyn of peddling “conspiracies” by suggesting that Whitehall officials cannot be trusted to investigate comments made by civil servants about his health.

    1. The trade union concerned is actually a senior staff association – the First Division Association. Membership is only open to the most senior grades in the civil service e.g permanent secretaries heads of divisions etc. As far as I know the FDA is not affiliated to the TUC. The response provided by the FDA is predictable and understandable – they are seeking to protect their members at least two of whom are in extremely hot water.

  4. We should adopt the American system if we get in and clear them out! Never understood the British system of cival servant neutrality and … Impartiality.. Don’t make !me laugh ,I’m knocking on a bit and might choke on my own vomit!..The cival service is packed with Right wing torys same as the milatary and the police.But at least we know were they are coming from and we can deal with it.The real danger comes from the covert enemy’s within and that will be seen to who shall win the fight for the heart and soul of the Labour party?.We must be vigilant and not be fooled by trolls destroying the moral of the party and the machine politicians that works for the highest bidder.We can work together despite brexit and have a chance for Jeremy Corbyn to lead a Socialist government..

    1. “We should adopt the American system if we get in”

      That’s about the daftest idea I’ve come across in this whole shambolic story.

      You sort out the problem of the independence and integrity of the service by turning them into politicos – subject to even more corrupting pressures??? At least at the moment there are rules and codes of conduct to actually *be* broken.

      That system’s really gone well in the US!

      Give me strength!

      1. Your language shows your argument to be weak.But the differing opinion amongst others should never be used to .i push the myth of political independence and integrity.Not so and keep it cival,I am not the enemy and have served office and found the majority of the chief officers to be rank Torys ,you have an obvious bias and I suspect you were naturally being defensive of the position you held!You are forgiven comrade! and RH have a good day and keep battling!

      2. Joseph – Don’t take stuff so personally. I’m just using appropriate language about an *idea* – and I would repeat that the American system in this context is no model at all; I was almost speechless when I read your propounding such a pre-eminently and visibly corrupt alternative. Checks and balances need to be strengthened not weakened.

        Again – you make another error of personalisation in thinking that I’ve worked in the civil service.

  5. Y’know what…who are these people who are determined to provoke Jeremy into losing his rag..Well, here’s a message for them….It won’t work….He’ll make an excellent P.M…Cool, calm and collected I think the phrase is…And what’s more~ he’s honest…And he actually knows what he’s talking about….Now there’s a novelty….

  6. Skwawky
    You have to finish it after 9th July, regardless of result for CW, the statement from LPNI brings together most of what we have known for fecking donkeys years,
    So finish it and tell us what is acceptable to say to Cockwombles who make vexatious claims of AS
    So near to fight back and clearing out stables,
    But also more than happy to take advice on what is not acceptable
    Good work bonnie lad

  7. In the statement/letter signed by the Labour MPs and Peers in relation to Chris Williamson it says the following:

    ‘That the composition of that panel was changed at short notice seems highly irregular.’

    Does anyone know what they were referring to exactly – ie WHO changed it and WHY?

    If you haven’t seen the statement it’s here:

    1. NB Needless to say, the insinuation is/was that the ‘composition’ was changed ‘at short notice’ so as to make sure Chris was reinstated – ie it was a stitch-up engineered by the leadership.

    2. In view of what happened with Keith Vaz, shouldn’t ALL panel members recuse themselves – not that I for one miilisecond believe him – from sitting in judgement on anyone who has been accused of something or other if THEY are on medication. I mean if KV had initially decided/voted the OTHER way and then, when the effects of the medication had worn off realised that he’d made a mistake precisely because he WAS on medication, would he have said as much AND the decision of the panel been reversed as such.

      And ditto for MPs when they vote on any legislation or whatever.

      It would be interesting, to say the least, to ascertain if this has EVER happened before, or was THIS the first time something like this has ever happened. It would also be interesting to ascertain just precisely what medication he was on AND if impaired judgement is one of the known side effects (as an MP – and what with BEING an MP – one would have thought that his GP would have mentioned the fact to him if that IS the case).

      Perhaps it would be a good idea – as with athletes etc – for all politicians and panel members etc, etc, to be subjected to random drug tests.

      Anyone have any thoughts on the matter?

      1. Wouldn’t blackmail by whip fit the sequence of events?
        Probably not SOP for them to wait and see if the victim would make the ‘right’ decision on his own first – probably would usually want to get the desired result tied up in pink ribbon beforehand – but where sowing confusion and dissent is a big part of the objective waiting until the decision’s made and then making him reverse it under threat of exposure might work very well.

  8. The line that ultimately it is for JC to remove the whip is all you need to know about the people behind that statement, it wouldn’t be independent then would it,
    Lansman was on original panel, so just as well because that would have been a stitch up
    Simple fact is all decisions are signed off by in house barrister, end of
    Can we now safely say
    Evidence of AS in party is statistically negligible 1/2000 members
    20% of complaints came from one person, Pantomime Dame employed people to trawl social media for months, 180 thrown out immediately the other 20 we dont know, why is she still in the party
    Reporting of AS in party has been at best partial and at worst fake news and a deliberate and concerted smear
    In fact there is ample evidence of this, but it’s simply ignored
    What does the party want us to say and what are they going to do about it, methinks sacrifice at least one cockwomble

    1. Yes, I just happened to come across the following comment on Craig Murray’s website a couple of days ago (and we can be sure that they are not the ONLY one who has cancelled their membership as a consequence):

      I was a member of the Labour Party – I joined because I wanted to vote for Corbyn. About 6 months ago I was contacted by the Disputes section of the Labour Party telling me that I had been suspended pending findings by the NEC. They said that posts I had shared on Facebook had been reported and sent me copies of these posts – none of them were “anti-semitic” – they wouldn’t be because I am not – however they asked me some quite extraordinary questions and wanted my assurance that I would not post anything similar in future.

      I told them politely what I thought of them and their witch hunting nonsense and immediately cancelled my membership. I’m sure that I am not the only Labour member to have been suspended for similar reasons so, it seems, they are busy weeding out potential Corbyn supporters from the membership as well as subverting him from the inside.

    2. Doug, I just read through you comment again, and if I understand you correctly, you’re saying that John Lansman was supposed to be on the panel that deliberated on CW’s case, but was then replaced for some reason. Have I got that right?

      1. Yes
        Forgotten name of other momentum member who was also replaced

  9. Its nuts, they will not stop and by definition anyone making vexatious claims is clearly a bottom feeder,
    But we are responsible for letting it go, that’s unforgivable and an insult to our members and supporters

  10. ‘Hunpty Dumpty Boris,Theresa in Trousers climbing up the wall.
    And Neo-Liberal Nationalist Boris and Globalist Hunt they had a mighty fall.’

    1. I wouldn’t normally quote Ms Hyde but her description of Boris is spot on

      “Johnson has spent weeks claiming he’s the only one strong enough to get the better of the European Union, yet his first public test saw him cravenly submit to the disgraceful whims of Trump. In the circs, it feels a little unfair to class this move as “pussying out”. What would you call it instead? Penising out? Yes, I believe we saw Boris Johnson totally penis out to Donald Trump.”

      “Johnson does know Latin, as he never misses a chance to remind us. No one could accuse him of wearing his learning lightly – or, indeed, wearing any of it lightly. Witness his excruciating promise to reach out to something he pointedly referred to as “Oppidan Britain”. To which the increasingly despairing response has to be: YES YES! I KNOW WHAT SCHOOL YOU WENT TO! I KNOW WHAT HOUSE YOU WERE IN! I KNOW YOU GOT A SECOND CLASS CLASSICS DEGREE! I KNOW THIS SOMEHOW ENDS WITH YOU CONSIGNING OUR ENTIRE COUNTRY TO THE CATACOMBS THEN BEATING US TO DEATH WITH YOUR RELATIVELY MIDDLEBROW ACHIEVEMENTS! But mate: you are 55 – FIFTY-FIVE – years old. How, how can you possibly still be wanking on about any of this, in public, as though it was still the best thing you’ve ever done? Can it really be because it was? [Spoiler: yes.]”

  11. I just happened to catch the end of Newsnight, and Emily Maitlis and a guest – who I gathered from what he was saying was a Tory – were just about to go through some of tomorrows papers, and so they were chatting about Johnson and Hunt for a minute or two, and then got round to going through some of the papers, and the first one – and the ONLY one as it transpired! – was an article in the Guardian about Jeremy Corbyn, or should I say a hit-job, and not ONLY on JC, but on his supporters in the membership as well. Here’s an extract from it:

    It is getting notably harder, for example, to be loyal to Corbyn and determined to combat antisemitism at the same time. Those who try tie themselves in knots, seeking to insulate the leader from decisions that are clearly taken with the boss’s preferences in mind, such as the grimly farcical sequence of suspension, readmission and resuspension of Chris Williamson. There is not much point trying to decrypt what happens inside the Labour leader’s head on this subject. What matters is that an alarming number of people who think Jews are a sinister, conspiratorial clan also believe that Corbyn is their guy and Labour is their party.

      1. ..can change the story. or if there is, and you criticize the woeful joke that passes as ‘journalism’ on the ‘anisemitism’ issue – you get banned from making comments. They dumped me when I satirised their claim that “Our journalism can change the story” – when I simply pointed out how it often did 🙂

  12. Point is decisions are passed by party barrister
    And being Jewish is not a prerequisite for thinking anything, being a poisonous and vexatious little shit is

  13. Whatever the rights and wrongs of this Mr Corbyn should be employing a proof reader who would have spotted “Dear Mr Sedwill'” when the letter is addressed to Sir Mark.

    1. Proof reader yes, “Sir Mark” be fucked.
      I don’t acknowledge any inherited titles or those in the gift of governments – I do acknowledge most but not all academic titles.

      1. I too have little regard for “honours” bestowed for just doing a job, whether it’s footballers, actors or civil servants – but it’s the carelessness of the document (especially taking into account what this controversy is about) that caught my eye.

  14. ”Seeking inspiration from an early 20th century speech by the German sociologist Max Webber, Powell wrote: “When the government pursues a policy civil servants know to be wrong and dangerous to the country, should they just stand by? Or do they have a duty to take steps to protect the survival of the polity?” Perhaps Powell is not going as far as suggesting his own version of that Very British Coup, but the implication is that the civil servants are as culpable as ministers for the current state of current affairs But more than that, an independent civil service, that will advise ministers then implement political decisions ”. I have been saying for years Theresa May is their robot and the C service have the remote control firmly in a place no one can reach ,then in walks Corbyn..Boom.– ://

  15. Some of these newspaper articles have quotes from civil servants.

    They talk of his advisors—a very similar line of attack used by people like Blunkett and co.

    As I have said before, the plotters have had to change their tactics as earlier attempts to defeat Corbyn failed. And so a different approach is used now.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: