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by Staff reporter
19 October 2022
Tory MSP reports government tweet for breaking civil service rules

Tory MSP reports government tweet for breaking civil service rules

The Scottish Conservatives have urged Scotland’s most senior civil servant to investigate a tweet sent from the Scottish Government’s official account which they say was “misleading and partisan”.

The tweet relates to the government’s economic paper on an independent Scotland which was published on Monday.

It includes a two-minute video which included claims independence would allow Scotland to “build an economy that supports everyone” and suggested the economy of an independent Scotland would grow faster than the rest of the UK.

“Evidence in the first Building a New Scotland paper shows independent European countries comparable to Scotland are both fairer and wealthier than the UK, so the opportunities of independence are clear,” it said.

Tory MSP Craig Hoy said the tweet broke the civil service code for impartiality and was an example of ministers using government resources to promote independence.

He has requested John-Paul Marks, the permanent secretary for the Scottish Government, investigate whether this was the case.

Hoy say: “There is a duty for civil servants to abide by the civil service code when it comes to political impartiality, but this post clearly did not do that… That is completely unacceptable and is why I have written to the permanent secretary to rule whether this tweet crossed a line regarding honesty and impartiality.  

“The post was littered with misleading and partisan claims with a complete lack of facts to even attempt to back them up.”

The civil service code highlights the need for political impartiality from government staff.

Section 15 says civil servants must not “act in a way that is determined by party political considerations or use official resources for party political purposes”.

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