Stephen Webb

Stephen Webb is Head of Government Reform and Home Affairs at Policy Exchange. He was formerly Director at the Home Office and Cabinet Office

How can we avoid another Batley Grammar blasphemy row?

Dame Sara Khan, the government’s adviser on social cohesion, has produced a powerful and brave report with some stark findings which should make for seriously uncomfortable reading among political and public sector leaders. The report describes how politicians, academics, artists and journalists are self-censoring because of severe levels of harassment and abuse, which Khan calls ‘freedom

How activism swept the civil service

The Scottish parliament’s decision to ban its staff wearing campaigning lanyards may seem like a small step. But could it set a precedent for rolling back a trend for tolerating staff activism that has spread throughout the civil service in recent years? In an email to staff, the move was justified ‘to minimise the risk of perceived