Civil servants need clear and unambiguous guidance on how to respond if they believe ministerial instructions may be unlawful

24 Sep 2019

The Supreme Court has ruled that the government acted unlawfully when it prorogued parliament.

On 12th September Prospect, as one the main civil service unions, wrote to Sir Mark Sedwill seeking assurances that he would protect civil servants if they were asked to behave in an unlawful manner, or in a way which compromised their impartiality.

Garry Graham, Prospect deputy general secretary, responding to today’s ruling, said:

“It is clear that the prime minister has acted in a cavalier fashion in terms of the law.
“Civil servants need clear and unambiguous guidance on their responsibilities if in future they are faced with ministerial instructions which they believe may be unlawful, or compromise their impartiality.
“In Prospect’s letter to Mark Sedwill we demanded clarity and that is even more vital now. To date we have received no response to our letter while at the same time there is increasing concern amongst civil servants.”
Read Prospect’s letter to Sir Mark Sedwill here