White Hall

UK Public trusts Civil Servants Over Politicians, According to Recent Poll

The poll, conducted by the More in Common think tank, showed that UK public believe staff in Whitehall - the heart of the UK civil service - are more hardworking, reliable, and competent than their political leaders. The public also thinks that civil servants are more likely to prioritise the public's best interests​

In the survey, 42% of respondents rated civil servants as more hardworking compared to just 12% for ministers. When asked who they considered the most trustworthy, 40% opted for civil servants, while only 10% chose ministers. On the question of competence, 36% favoured Whitehall staff, with ministers lagging behind at 15%. Finally, on the issue of who is most likely to have the public's interests at heart, civil servants once again led with 36% against 15% for ministers​

Luke Tryl, UK Director of More in Common, told the Huff Puff UK: " Far from believing in the notion of an intransigent civil service blob blocking progress, the public are significantly more likely to say civil servants are more trustworthy, hardworking, competent and have the public’s interests at heart.”

Dave Penman, the General Secretary of the FDA union, which represents senior civil servants, reacted to the survey results, saying: " “It is no surprise that the public trust those delivering vital public services over those giving soundbites to client journalists.

“Despite years of attacks on their integrity and commitment, negative briefing and a barrage of criticism from politicians and commentators, our civil servants continue to go to extraordinary lengths to deliver the services on which we all rely.

“These dedicated public servants work night and day to help the country through its most complex challenges, from Brexit to the covid pandemic, ensuring our civil service retains its reputation as the best in the world. The public know who they can trust.”


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