The same Conservative government which supposedly rejects “the illiberalism of cancel culture” is the same one which has now banned “woke” speakers from Whitehall – according to The Telegraph.
The “official-sensitive” email is reported to have told civil servants that individuals “against key government policies” should not be invited to events within the civil service.
It’s claimed that the memo to civil servants, sent by a senior Cabinet Office official, read: “We recognise that it is not always clear to determine whether an activity is deemed political or if an individual has spoken against key government policies.
“This is why all cross-government networks must carry out due diligence checks on all speakers invited to events, and the content of any events and communications to ensure impartiality.”
“[Civil service] networks and their members must complete such 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.”
Commentary which may have been made on social media, the official added.
The memo comes after English professor Priyamvada Gopal had her invite to speak civil servants at the Home Office rescinded earlier this year.
In October, the right-wing news website Guido Fawkes revealed a past tweet from Ms Gopal in which she wrote: “Priti Patel is also a reminder that many Asians in British Africa had ferociously anti-black attitudes and were used by colonial administrations to keep black populations in her place.
“An attitude she brings to government.”
Following the leaking of the internal memo on Saturday, Twitter users have since pointed out that the banning of ‘woke’ speakers sure sounds like ‘cancel culture’ – from a political party who aren’t exactly keen on “unacceptable silencing and censoring”:
@TelePolitics No platforming and cancelling people is good again, lads 👍
In a statement to The Telegraph, a Cabinet Office spokesman said: “Employees are encouraged to engage and discuss a range of different topics and perspectives, and all events must be consistent with the civil service code of conduct. We have reminded departments and staff networks of these expectations for events.
“We have recently adopted an increased due diligence process for guest speakers in line with cross-government best practice.”