The Ministry of Interior is accused of a “witch hunt” against the alleged “Braverman Factory”.
Home Office staff were accused of waging a witch hunt against a whistleblower, which one civil servant described as a “Braverman factory”.
After The Telegraph published an anonymous account from an insider accusing the department of thwarting the government’s plans to tackle immigration, Home Office officials reacted by calling for the whistleblower to be found and fired.
At an online all-staff meeting hosted by senior officials on November 23, civil servants at the Ministry of Interior submitted questions anonymously to their superiors.
One question, which received 27 “likes” from officials, said: “The scathing leak to The Telegraph, which does not speak for all of us, broke so many rules that it should lead to the finding of multiple acts of gross misconduct. Will the person be fired? Will we know this without revealing the person’s name?
The question was followed by a series of supportive statements from fellow officials demanding the whistleblower’s removal from the Interior Ministry.
‘It puts us all in a bad light’
One government employee wrote: “Braverman Factory!” Another said: “It puts us all in such a bad light.”
A source in the ministry said: “The internal prosecution against whistleblowers for violations of the Ministry of Interior was unusual.
“Instead of dealing with the points raised directly, civil servants were determined to retaliate and spent endless time discussing the leak.
“The attitude that the whistleblower was a ‘Braverman plant’ is widespread and speaks to the attitudes of civil servants towards their former boss: suspicion, cynicism and spite.
“Although (Suella) Braverman has been ineffective, the angrily reacting to criticism without any self-reflection at any level shows the administration’s hypersensitivity to its dismal record.”
In November, The Telegraph published an article by a Home Office immigration official who accused civil servants of “seeing their role as part of the resistance to what they see as a far-right government intent on ignoring rules for punishing innocent migrants.” .
The article received widespread reactions from right-wing politicians. Richard Tice, leader of the Reform Party, previously tweeted: “Shocking….why (sic) the Home Office is not fit for purpose. We need a whole new immigration department to control our borders.”
As Baroness Fox of Buckley responded to If the public concludes that democracy does not work?
“They had their own agenda”
Christopher Howarth, who worked as a special adviser to former Home Secretary Priti Patel from May to October 2022, said: “In my experience, senior officials at the Home Office have had diverse views on immigration policy. Some were highly professional and did their best to carry out the ministers’ wishes in an effective manner, while others had their own agenda and let their personal opinions get in the way of their duty to help reduce immigration.
“One must be careful not to generalize about an entire administration, but it is clear that there are some who have forgotten their duty of political neutrality, and it is the responsibility of senior officials and ministers to keep them in check.”
Following Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s pledges to stop illegal Channel crossings and reduce record levels of legal immigration into Britain, civil servants in the Home Office have been tasked with drafting legislation and creating policy options for ministers to achieve these goals.
Despite constant promises from conservative politicians to reduce immigration levels, net immigration last year was estimated at about 745,000 people, according to official figures.
Migration Watch, a think-tank, estimates that since 2018, more than 113,000 people have entered the UK illegally via small boats.
A Government spokesman said: “The Home Office’s role is to protect the UK from harm and support economic prosperity, and our staff are focused on this endeavour.”
(tags for translation)Immigration