The shake-up of the coastguard service has sparked questions about whether civil servants should be giving evidence to select committees.
At a session of the Commons transport select committee, chair Louise Ellman accused shipping minister Mike Penning of breaking a promise that coastguards would be permitted to give evidence to her inquiry.
Coastguards around the country have been furious about this, concerned that civil servants are in danger of being "gagged". Penning said, however, that coastguards could not give evidence to the select committee because they are required, in their capacity as civil servants, to uphold government policy.
My comment: What a load of claptrap from Mike Penning. Just because civil servants have to uphold government policy doesn't mean they shouldn't give evidence to a select committee. Looks more like Mike Penning wants to gag them so the truth doesn't come out. Is Mike Penning is trying to pervert the course of a select committee investigation?
We are now in the stupid position of having council staff wanting to gag councillors, councils wanting to gag staff, Judges wanting to gag the press & public and now Mike Penning wanting to gag civil servants.
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