Civil service concern

Sir Suma Chakrabarti (Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images).
Sir Suma Chakrabarti (Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images).


By Amit Roy

SIR SUMA CHAKRABARTI knows a great deal about how the civil services works.

He was the permanent secretary at the Depart­ment for International Development (DfID) from 2002-2007 and at the Ministry of Justice from 2007-2012, before serving two terms as president of European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) from July 2012 to July 2020.

Last week, he told the GG2 Di­versity Conference that Asian and black people were no longer in the pipeline for top jobs in the civil service as had once been the case. He had gone out of his way to encourage likely candi­dates to be ambitious.

It must be a matter of con­cern that he said when it comes to diversity, “the cab­inet is doing a better job than the civil service”.

I am not taking sides, but could this be one rea­son that the home secre­tary Priti Patel has faced so much resistance from senior white civil servants?

By the time he left the EBRD, revealed Sir Suma, the once old-fashioned bank looked very different from the organisation he had joined.


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