The FDA responds to ERG Vice Chairman Mark Francois's attack on civil servants
Responding to comments Mark Francois made in a recent Conservative Home interview, FDA General Secretary Dave Penman said:
“Mark Francois is clearly incapable of understanding that civil servants can act impartially, regardless of their personal views, because he is incapable of such action himself. Civil servants only act under political authority: they advise but ministers decide. If Francois has a problem with the Government’s deal on Brexit then his ire should be directed at ministers, not those who have loyally served them.
“His latest comments, however, go well beyond what is acceptable political discourse. At a time when public servants are receiving death threats, he cannot hide behind a metaphorical flourish when he is accusing civil servants of being traitors to our country. So whilst he may hope that any response to his incendiary comments will be very 'British', the reality for those who have dedicated their lives to serving governments of every colour is that they are being targeted and threatened.
“Francois puffs out his chest proclaiming his British patriotic values. He then seeks to undermine one of the country’s greatest institutions — an impartial civil service — and knowingly uses language that could result in public servants fearing for their lives. Those are not the British values that I recognise.”
Notes for editors
- The FDA is the union for senior managers and professionals in public service, representing more than 18,000 members at grades HEO and above. Membership includes senior civil servants, government policy advisors, prosecutors, diplomats, tax professionals, economists, solicitors and other professionals working across the Government and the NHS.
- The FDA (formerly the First Division Association) should be referred to simply as "The FDA" and can be described as "the senior public servants' union".
- The FDA can be found on Twitter @FDA_union and at www.fda.org.uk. General Secretary Dave Penman tweets as @FDAGenSec.
- For more information contact:
Latest News from
FDA/Scottish Government deal raises members' pay and protects jobs24/06/2019 12:10:00
The FDA has secured on-call payment, pay rises and job security for Scottish Government staff.
FDA: Don't let Truss's dog-whistle tactics hide human impact of public sector exit pay cap10/04/2019 13:20:00
FDA General Secretary Dave Penman responded to the Government’s announcement of a cap on exit payments for public servants
FDA opposes Treasury halting public sector pension scheme valuations31/01/2019 15:37:00
Yesterday, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss announced that the Government will be pausing one element of the valuations of public service pensions.
The FDA wins overtime for Government Legal Department21/01/2019 09:20:00
After almost two years of campaigning, the FDA has won overtime payment for Grade 6 and Grade 7 GLD staff.
Civil service turnover: Without fundamental reform, Government “will only repeat mistakes of the past”16/01/2019 14:10:00
FDA General Secretary Dave Penman responded to the Institute for Government’s report Moving on: the costs of high staff turnover in the civil service.
Alex Salmond investigation: FDA response09/01/2019 16:05:00
FDA General Secretary Dave Penman has responded to today’s announcement regarding the investigation into Alex Salmond.
Gender pay gap data "no early Christmas gift"21/12/2018 13:25:00
On 19 December, 18 Government departments published their gender pay gap data. Despite the timing, these findings are no early Christmas gift.
Scottish Government doesn’t truly value the work of FDA members13/12/2018 13:33:00
FDA National Officer Allan Sampson yesterday responded to the announcement of the Scottish Government’s public sector pay policy.
Standards Committee response: FDA raises concerns MPs may "kick Dame Laura's recommendations into the long grass"11/12/2018 13:25:00
FDA Assistant General Secretary Amy Leversidge yesterday responded to the House of Commons Committee on Standards initial proposals following the Dame Laura Cox report.