Liz Truss has prompted a fierce reaction after claiming she will tackle the “woke” Civil Service culture that “strays into antisemitism” in an interview.
The Foreign Secretary was blasted by the head of the FDA, which represents civil servants, for providing “no evidence for her accusation”, which he said “goes further than the usual dog-whistle politics” of the leadership election.
In an interview, she told the Jewish Chronicle she had stood alongside her “good friend” Yair Lapid, despite some in the department claiming this could lead to Britain becoming “isolated”.
FDA general secretary Dave Penman said: “The Conservatives have been in Government for more than 12 years now and, for most of that time, Liz Truss has been a minister.
“So accusations of ‘civil service wokeism’ are a little ironic, given it’s essentially a criticism of their own leadership.
“However, Truss’s accusation of antisemitism goes further than the usual dog-whistle politics that has been on display during this leadership campaign when it comes to the Civil Service.
“She provides no evidence for her accusation that many civil servants will find both insulting and abhorrent.
“A prime minister is also minister for the Civil Service, and throwing around such unfounded inflammatory accusations illustrates a lack of leadership, the very thing that she claims to be demonstrating.”
Mike Clancy, general secretary of the Prospect union, which also represents civil servants, said Ms Truss should publish the evidence for her claims, if any exists.
“Antisemitism and racism in any form is deplorable and must be eradicated,” he said.
“After 12 years of this Government and eight years for Liz Truss in the Cabinet, she should have a better grip on both the evidence and facts about what is happening in the Civil Service. If there is evidence, she should publish it.
“This smacks more of further attempts to undermine public services rather than focus on the job of serving the public.”
“What does she even mean?”
Speaking to The Sun, one Jewish civil servant said they have “absolutely no idea” what Truss is referring to.
“What does ‘Woke civil service culture strays into antisemitism’ even mean? I’ve never worked in a more inclusive and diverse environment.
“I feel these sort of comments try to victimise Jews and cynically instrumentalise (sic) our experience”, they said.