Government criticised over contract awarded to Culture Shift amidst civil service ‘snowflakery’ debate
The UK Government’s Cabinet Office has awarded a £140,000 contract to Manchester-based company Culture Shift for a “Bullying Harassment and Discrimination Reporting Platform.” The move, which comes after Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab’s forced resignation amid allegations of bullying, has attracted criticism for the perceived bias of the company’s CEO, Gemma McCall, who often shares anti-Tory and anti-Brexit views.
The platform, first revealed by the Spectator, will allow civil servants to “anonymously report incidents of Bullying, Harassment or Discrimination.” Culture Shift specialises in equality and diversity training, advising institutions like the University of Leicester on topics such as pronoun use and supporting “student sex workers.” McCall celebrated Raab’s resignation on Twitter, has shared anti-Boris Johnson posts, and expressed anti-Brexit sentiment.
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The civil service has faced criticism since Raab’s resignation, with Tory MPs questioning the definition of bullying and the potential for vexatious complaints against ministers. Jacob Rees-Mogg, among other MPs, expressed concerns about the “snowflakery” within the civil service, while Telegraph writer Camilla Tominey suggested that robust scrutiny of work should not be equated to bullying.
The awarding of the Culture Shift contract has raised further questions about the relationship between the government and its critics, as well as the extent to which accusations of bullying should influence ministerial roles.
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