Vladimir Putin will think our woke spies are a joke, says Rees-Mogg

‘What are they doing?’ Security services’ leaked diversity and inclusion guide will make Vladimir Putin think our woke spies are a joke, Jacob Rees-Mogg warns

  • Jacob Rees-Mogg said Putin will think UK spies lack ‘grip’ and ‘backbone’  
  • It came after the Daily Mail revealed British spies had been ordered to go woke
  • A leaked guide to improving diversity and inclusion revealed that spies had been urged to consider their ‘white privilege’ and declare their pronouns 

Vladimir Putin will get the impression Britain’s security services lack ‘grip’ and ‘backbone’ after the Daily Mail revealed its spies had been ordered to go woke, Jacob Rees-Mogg said last night.

A leaked guide to improving diversity and inclusion revealed that spies had been urged to consider their ‘white privilege’ and declare their pronouns.

The document suggested agents should avoid terms such as ‘manpower’, and advises them against using words such as ‘strong’ and ‘grip’ which can ‘reinforce dominant cultural patterns’.

In a forthright intervention, Mr Rees-Mogg blasted the guidance as a ‘distraction’ and said the time spent on ‘essentially trivial stuff has not been an indication of backbone’.

Vladimir Putin will get the impression Britain’s security services lack ‘grip’ and ‘backbone’ after the Daily Mail revealed its spies had been ordered to go woke, Jacob Rees-Mogg said last night

And he said the Russian president would look at the fact Britain’s spies were worrying about such words as an indication that the UK ‘didn’t have a grip’.

In the document – entitled Mission Critical – the chiefs of MI5, MI6 and GCHQ extol the virtues of diversity and inclusion, saying both are vital in keeping the country safe.

The document, which included a foreword from Sir Stephen Lovegrove, the national security adviser, was written in October and published on December 6 – just days after Ukraine warned of large-scale escalation by Russia. Mr Rees-Mogg, the minister for Brexit opportunities and government efficiency, made his comments on The Moggcast podcast.

Russian tyrant Putin (pictured) has waged a brutal war on Ukraine after invading last month

He said: ‘On the day that Russia invaded Ukraine, the Daily Mail front page recorded… that MI5, MI6 and GCHQ had said that you shouldn’t use the word ‘manpower’ and ‘grip’ and one other, I forget what the other was, it might have been ‘strong’. 

And you think ‘what are they doing?’ – that’s not their job to faff around with this sort of stuff, they are there to keep the country safe.

‘This distraction, and this time used on essentially trivial stuff has not been an indication of backbone.

‘If you were Putin, and you thought ‘what sort of response am I going to get from the UK?’ and you saw they were worrying about whether to use the word ‘grip’ – you’d have thought they didn’t have a grip. 

‘So I don’t think this should be ignored completely, but ultimately we have got backbone and we always have when push comes to shove. It was silly and let’s hope the silliness is over.’

The diversity ‘toolkit’ is intended to be read by officials at GCHQ, MI5 and MI6, as well as in the Office for Security and Counter Terrorism in the Home Office, and the National Security Secretariat in the Cabinet Office.

In the document, one Muslim worker praises her employer for allowing her not to shake hands with men because this is in line with her religious beliefs.

And a female civil servant at the Ministry of Defence claims she felt ‘humiliation’ when she started working there as ‘new girls had to earn their place in the team’.

The toolkit says staff should ‘understand your unconscious bias’, ‘be aware of intersectionality [the idea that different forms of prejudice can overlap]’, ‘acknowledge your privilege’ and consider refusing to speak on all male panels.

It also urges staff to declare their pronouns to make transgender colleagues feel more included.

A government spokesman said: ‘The National Security community is entirely focussed on working to keep the country safe.’

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