Former integration and welfare czar says she'd probably refuse to work for Boris Johnson

PUBLISHED: 11:49 03 December 2019 | UPDATED: 11:49 03 December 2019

Dame Louise Casey, who has headed up numerous social welfare and integration initiatives under four different governments, said she would 'probably not' work for Boris Johnson. Picture: BBC

Dame Louise Casey, who has headed up numerous social welfare and integration initiatives under four different governments, said she would 'probably not' work for Boris Johnson. Picture: BBC

BBC

A former integration czar under four successive governments has said she would "probably not" work for Boris Johnson, commenting on "this extreme politics that gets in the way of doing right".

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Dame Louise Casey, who has headed up numerous community integration and social welfare task forces for successive governments, issued cutting remarks on the prime minister and political figures like Jacob Rees-Mogg.

The former deputy head of Shelter gave BBC Radio Five Live's Emma Barnett a short "probably not" when she was asked if she'd heed a call to work under Johnson's government. She added that Johnson had not called her up.

"I've worked for four different prime ministers, so far not the fifth one that's currently there," she said.

Speaking about inter-faith social integration alongside child welfare, she criticised Jacob Rees-Mogg's supine attitude on the front benches in September and said it is "unlikely" that politicians like him have grown up meeting another child "that doesn't look like them or sound like them".

"That could also be somebody that's born and gone to Eton and then perhaps went to Oxford and now is in parliament," she said. "I'd like all that cohort of people to also meet people who don't look like them and sound like them."

"Do you think Boris Johnson has?" asked Barnett.

"He probably has, in visits, I don't know, I can't tell you," said Dame Louise.

"Jacob Rees-Mogg?"

"Unlikely. Unlikely."

She continued: "I have to say one of the trickiest moments, as a very moderate civil servant, was watching that gentleman lie on the front bench in that way.

"I thought it typified something which is - I'm not a Corbyn supporter and I'm not a 'him' supporter.

"I can't bear this extreme politics that gets in the way of doing right."

She also that there should not be people growing up in this country unable to speak English or going hungry.

She said that recent governments have not ensured that children of all faiths are getting a good standard of education or a secure upbringing, adding that the civil service needed to be "re-geared" in order to "make sure that children were not growing up hungry in this country".

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