RAF chief says ‘160 cases of positive discrimination’ for white men

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

An RAF chief has been challenged by MPs over a claim there’s been “160 cases of positive discrimination” against white men, which was made by the former RAF head of recruitment Lizzie Nicholl. The Group Captain resigned from her post after being ordered to prioritise pushing women and ethnic minorities candidates onto training courses ahead of white men.

The current head of the RAF, Sir Mike Wigston admitted to the Commons Defence Committee there were mistakes but said the order was given with the “best of intentions”.

MP Tobias Ellwood, chair of the committee, questioned Sir Mike over the decision and asked “did the wrong person resign?”

Sir Mike said the order was one that came from the top, and apologised the Group Captain was forced to resign.

He said: “I very much regret and I’m very sorry that the Group Captain felt that she had no alternative but to resign.

“I very much regret she found herself in that position.”

He added the RAF will learn from the incident and is looking forward to the results of an inquiry into the recruitment scandal.

Despite his admission of mistakes, he refused to say if there was active discrimination against white men because the order given to the former Group Captain was never actioned.

But MPs replied this order never went forward precisely because of the former Group Captain’s resignation.

Mr Ellwood said: “There are questions of integrity that need to be addressed. This is a blot on the RAF’s copy book.”

After being pushed on the matter, he claimed the order came from people who believed they were “within the law” and repeated that they were acting in their “best intentions”

In August, the former Group Captain contacted her boss telling them she was not going to allocate slots based on gender or ethnicity.

In the email, first seen by Sky News, she wrote: “I am not prepared to delegate or abdicate the responsibility of actioning that order to my staff.”

Ms Nicholls was in charge of a 450 person recruitment team.

Former Cabinet Minister Sajid Javid told the publication it would be “complete nonsense” if the RAF had put a pause on hiring white men.

Since the scandal took place, RAF officials have insisted there was no positive discrimination and at the time of the scandal.

A spokesperson said at the time: “There is no pause in Royal Air Force recruitment and no new policy with regards to meeting in-year recruitment requirements.

“Royal Air Force commanders will not shy away from the challenges we face building a service that attracts and recruits talent from every part of the UK workforce.

“As with the Royal Navy and British Army, we are doing everything we can to encourage recruiting from under-represented groups and ensure we have a diverse workforce.”

“The Royal Air Force has a well-earned reputation for operational excellence that is founded on the quality of all our people. We will always seek to recruit the best talent available to us.”

Source: Read Full Article