Civil servants claimed ‘people got Brexit vote wrong’, says Tory MP

PUBLISHED: 08:37 03 March 2020 | UPDATED: 08:43 03 March 2020

Minister for the Cabinet Office Michael Gove responds after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn asked an Urgent Question in the House of Commons. Photograph: PA Wire.

Minister for the Cabinet Office Michael Gove responds after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn asked an Urgent Question in the House of Commons. Photograph: PA Wire.

A Tory MP claimed that Foreign Office officials had said ‘people had got it wrong’ in relation to the Brexit vote.

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Alicia Kearns, who formerly worked in the department, made the remarks in relation to allegations about Priti Patel, who faces accusations of bullying from a former civil servant.

Speaking in the Commons, Kearns said: "I was a civil servant at three government departments.

"On the day of the Brexit referendum result, I was told at the Foreign Office by multiple senior civil servants that it was the 'wrong decision, the people had got it wrong'.

"So my question is that is it not right that sometimes, sadly, ministers do need to be robust with civil servants to make sure the people's priorities are always delivered?"


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Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove replied: "You are absolutely right.

"Of course we will all have different opinions about the wisdom of particular policies as individual citizens, but as a government we are united in making sure we will deliver the manifesto on which we were elected.

"One of the strengths of our system of government is that the civil service works energetically and determinedly to ensure the agenda of the government of the day is fulfilled."

Gove went on to praise civil servants he has worked with.

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