Tuesday, 23 February 2016

And so it begins...

From here

Brexit ministers BANNED from accessing Government documents and BLOCKED from briefings

Ministers campaigning for Britain to leave the European Union have been banned by Whitehall’s most senior civil servant from accessing official documents and prevented from receiving briefings.
In a move like to enrage Eurosceptics, Sir Jeremy Heywood, the Cabinet secretary, has told ministers that when they campaign on EU matters they will no longer have access to official briefing papers, or get help with developing ideas for speeches.
Instead departmental officials will only be able to provide them with a basic fact checking service.
Sir Jeremy Heywood, the Cabinet Secretary, said that under-performing ministers need feedback to allow them to improveSir Jeremy Heywood, the Cabinet secretary  Photo: REX FEATURES
In a letter, which has been distributed in Whitehall this morning, Sir Jeremy said: “It will not be appropriate or permissible for the Civil Service to support who oppose the Government’s official position by providing briefing or speech material on this matter.
“This includes access to official departmental papers, excepting papers that ministers have previously seen on issues relating to the referendum question prior to the suspension of the collective agreement.”
He adds: “Departments may check facts for such ministers on request. And civil servants should continue to support such ministers in undertaking all official government business in the usual way.”
The rules from today until May 27, when the official Whitehall purdah period begins.
Christopher Hope, Chief Political Correspondent


From the ever reliable Guido Here


A K Haart said...

"they will no longer have access to official briefing papers"

Doesn't sound like a huge disadvantage to me. Perhaps Sir Jeremy supports Brexit.

Mark Wadsworth said...

This is no surprise though, is it?