Esther McVey blasts Channel 4 news over supposed LGBT civil service lanyard ‘ban’ | Politics | News

Esther McVey slapped down left-wing Channel 4 news this afternoon, when they doorstepped her on the way into the Cabinet Office.

The broadcaster and politician was probed about her big speech yesterday, after which many outlets went on to report that the Government wants to “ban” civil servants from wearing woke LGBT+ lanyards at work.

Questions about the supposed ban, Ms McVey turned around and demanded to know whether the reporter had bothered to listen to her speech.

She hit back: “I think you better go back and listen to the speech!

“It’s all about impartiality of the civil service and what happens in Whitehall and people to leave their political beliefs at the door.

“But there was never a mention of a ‘ban’ – that’s you journalists!”

Asked about civil servants wearing political lanyards at a speech on Monday, Ms McVey said that while mandarins should wear a “standard design” lanyard, she did not set out any consequences for those who broke the guidance.

Backing up her denial, newly published guidance last night did not directly reference any ban on rainbow lanyards.

Instead, it’s re-asserts the requirement of staff to remain impartial, and must “always be guided by the core values of objectivity and impartiality set out in the Civil Service code when carrying out work in diversity and inclusion”.

Questioned on Monday, Ms McVey argued: “What we don’t need is political activism in a visible way.

“Because for every lanyard that you show you’re therefore not saying about all the other things you do or don’t agree with – you’re promoting one belief at the exclusion of other things, it is making a statement.

“What we’re saying is your political beliefs remain at the front door, and when you come in you’re part of a happy team and it’s not to impose your views on anybody else, be a distraction or engage in political action.

“That’s what I said is a very simple way to show there is harmony, unity and inclusivity within an organisation, so it’s just a simple visible difference.”

Opposition forces reacted angrily to Ms McVey’s political neutrality crackdown, with Labour accusing her of being “so out of touch”.

Tory London Assembly member Andrew Boff tweeted: “Hi Esther. You can take my rainbow lanyard from my cold dead neck”.

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