United Kingdom, London: Today, Britain’s senior most Indian origin minister Priti Patel complained over the government’s decision to block out ministers in favour of Britain’s exit from the European Union (EU), the so-called Brexit. UK’s employment minister and Prime Minister David Cameron’s Indian Diaspora Champion, who is in favour of Brexit, protested that the “Vote Leave” campaign group of ministers were being kept in the dark about propaganda operations being drawn up by civil servants within their own departments in the lead up to the June 23 referendum.
Priti said, “It is important that the civil service maintains impartiality during the EU referendum. (Cabinet Secretary) Jeremy Heywood’s unconstitutional act threatens the reputation of the civil service”. She added, “Secretaries of State (ministers) are responsible for their departments. For an unelected official to prevent them being aware of the information they need for their duties is wrong”. But Downing Street dismissed claims that the move was “unconstitutional”.
A spokesperson for PM’s office said, “The role of the civil service is to support the government’s policies and position of the day. Ministers who choose to take a different view are opposing that government position”. The issue of the EU referendum has divided the Cameron-led Conservative party and the Cabinet with 17 members in favour of staying in the EU but five wanting to leave.