Jewish civil servants group warned against inviting speakers critical of the government

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Jewish civil servants group warned against inviting speakers critical of the government

Group representing more than 300 people who work in the civil service receive a memo from a top cabinet office official telling them to avoid compromising Whitehall's neutrality

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

(Photo by Nick Kane on Unsplash)
(Photo by Nick Kane on Unsplash)

A group representing more than 300 Jewish civil servants is amongst the networks to receive a memo from a senior Cabinet Office official warning them against inviting speakers who have attacked the government.

Organisers of speaking events for civil servants have been informed they must now scour guests’ social media to avoid any prospect of compromising Whitehall neutrality by giving platforms to activists and commentators deemed to be biased.

A message to the Civil Service Jewish Network (JNet) stated:”We recognise that is not always clear to determine whether an activity is deemed political or if an individual has spoken against key government policies.

“Networks and their members must complete checks to avoid any invitations being issued to individuals and or organisations that have provided commentary on government policy, political decisions, approaches or individuals in government that could be deemed political.”

Other civil service groups to receive the memo, which was leaked to the Sunday Telegraph, included the Civil Service LGBT+ Network and the Civil Service Race Forum.

JNet is a cross-government network of over 300 Jewish civil servants and other civil servants interested in Jewish culture and is one of the eight Civil Service diversity networks.

It also coordinates networking, social, development and volunteering opportunities for Jewish civil servants and civil servants.

The Cabinet Offie said: “Employees are encouraged to engage and discuss a range of topics and perspectives and all events must be consistent with civil service code of conduct.”

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