MoD slammed for having more diversity officers than navy warships

Ministry of Defence is slammed for employing more diversity and equality officers than the Royal Navy has warships

  • There are 44 civil servants in the MoD with ‘diversity’ and ‘equality’ in job titles 
  • Royal Navy has 13 frigates, six destroyers, two aircraft carriers and 11 submarines
  • MoD  is looking to recruit a diversity and inclusion director on a £110,000 salary

The Ministry of Defence has come under fire for having more diversity and equality officers than the Royal Navy has warships.

The figures emerged yesterday, after veterans minister Johnny Mercer told parliament that there were 44 civil servants in the ministry and its executive agencies who had ‘diversity’ and ‘equality’ in their job title. 

In comparison, the Royal Navy possesses only thirteen frigates, six destroyers, two aircraft carriers and eleven submarines, a total of 32.

The details emerged in a question from Neil O’Brien, the Conservative MP for Harborough in Leicestershire.

Despite its abundance of equality officers, the ministry is looking to recruit a diversity and inclusion director on a £110,000 annual salary. 

The sum is more than what is earned by an army colonel, who commands a battalion of 800 soldiers. 

The Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth leaves Portsmouth Naval Base last week. The navy has less warships than the MoD has diversity and quality officers

Richard Kemp, the former commander of British Forces in Afghanistan, has criticised the emphasis on inclusion in the armed forces

Richard Kemp, the former commander of British Forces in Afghanistan, has criticised the emphasis on inclusion in the armed forces. 

He told the Sunday Express: ‘There are always bad apples, and racist incidents can never be tolerated, but in my experience the British Army is less racist than society at large.

‘The soldiers I commanded saw each other as comrades upon whom their lives often depended. And that applies to the Royal Navy and RAF too.

‘The British Army is about … depending on the person next to you; it’s about service before self. There’s no room for identity politics within that.’

The MOD has a target of increasing the number of black, Asian and minority ethnic personnel from 8 per cent to 10 per cent.

A ministry spokesman told the Times: ‘Defence is at its best when it’s diverse … Our appointment of these diversity and equality officers shows that we are moving beyond platitudes and putting our words into action.’ 

General Sir Nick Carter, chief of the defence staff, previously wrote to every serving member acknowledging that the Black Lives Matter movement had brought racism and discrimination ‘sharply into focus’.

There are 44 civil servants in the ministry and its executive agencies who had ‘diversity’ and ‘equality’ in their job title. n comparison, the Royal Navy possesses only thirteen frigates, six destroyers, two aircraft carriers and eleven submarines, a total of 32

Veterans minister Johnny Mercer made the revelation about the figures in Parliament yesterday

Sir Nick said in July that ‘laddish culture’ is driving out talented female and minority ethnic personnel from the Armed Forces.

He said such culture needed stamping out and it was ‘simply unacceptable’ that they had so far failed to ‘move the dial’ on the issue.

The comments come after a review last year concluded that the forces were led by a ‘pack of middle-aged white men’ resulting in unacceptable levels of bullying, sexism and racist behaviour.

Giving evidence to the Commons Defence Committee he said: ‘The thing that I think is really worrying particularly is the culture.

‘What I am looking for is people being judged on their moral courage and their ability to look after the people they have the privilege to command and to lead.

‘If they do that I think we have got a much better chance of stamping out the laddish and, often much worse than that, thoroughly unacceptable behaviour that means that we undoubtedly push some of the really talented female, but also black, Asian and minority ethnic people that we have in the armed forces, out after only a few years.

‘It is simply unacceptable that we are not moving the dial on this thing.’

The report, by Air Marshal Michael Wigston, was commissioned after a 17-year-old female soldier was allegedly sexually assaulted by six male personnel. 

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