Home Office Staff Warned Not To Post Online About Trump
Staff and contractors working for the Home Office have been ordered to stop posting negative comments about Donald Trump on social media. They have been told to be ‘careful’ and were reminded that they must abide by the civil service’s commitment to impartiality.
The Register has obtained an email in which Home Office staff were told to ‘avoid commenting on politically controversial issues’ or ‘giving personal opinions.’
The email to the department’s Digital, Data and Technology unit stated: ‘A quick look through just a couple of known personal Twitter accounts of staff members shows that some are not compliant, stating that they work for the Home Office [...] whilst tweeting or retweeting negative posts about, for example, Donald Trump.
‘We need to be careful here and ensure all our staff are following this guidance which reflects the Civil Service Code.’
A spokesman for the Home Office has since told the Daily Telegraph that the department has ‘recently updated our guidance on the use of social media by staff to make it clearer and easier to understand’ in line with guidelines from the Cabinet Office. Such changes were communicated to all staff who are expected to abide by the ‘values and standards’ set out in the code, according to the spokesman.
Such a warning comes in response to the US president’s anticipated state visit to the UK later in the year. Many MPs have criticised the government’s decision to extend an invitation to Trump. Jon Bercow, the Commons Speaker, has also rejected the idea of the president addressing Parliament during his visit, citing the US’s travel ban and Trump’s derogatory comments about women as the reason.
Theresa May, however, has defended her decision to invite Trump for a state visit. She has argued that it is integral to maintaining the special relation between the UK and the USA, particularly as we prepare to leave the European Union.