Steerpike Steerpike

Home Office’s bizarre diversity drive

Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Having failed to muster enough support for a leadership bid, Priti Patel is currently enjoying what are likely to be her final weeks in charge at the Home Office. The Witham MP has held the post for more than three years but despite her reputation as a hang ’em and flog ’em hardliner, there’s precious little sign she’s been able to change the prevailing culture in her department. Leaked messages in June showed the extent of internal opposition to Patel’s flagship Rwanda scheme. ‘Trans inclusive sports day’ are still being held and there’s a strong push for ‘preferred pronouns.’

And now Mr S has discovered the latest woke quackery being pushed by Patel’s mandarins. The department has a series of targets on its intranet to increase representation as part of its ‘diversity and inclusion strategy 2021-2025’. More black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) and self-identifying LGB staff are demanded as part of this drive. Current BAME levels for all staff and Senior Civil Service are, respectively, 23 per cent and 7 per cent, which will rise to 24 per cent and 12 per cent by 2025. The same figures for women are to remain consistent at 52 per cent and 47 per cent respectively while LGB representation is to increase from 4 per cent of current all staff and five per cent of the Senior Civil Service to 6 per cent for both by 2025. The department has also uploaded a podcast on those who don’t wish to declare their sexuality which ‘discusses the importance and concerns surrounding prefer not to say.’

But it was the disability target that struck Mr S. This is currently nine per cent among all staff, with a target of 12 per cent by 2025. But it says that for the Senior Civil Service the Home Office are content with less representation, from the current level of eight per cent to an aim of just five per cent in 2025.

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Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to or message @MrSteerpike

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