RAF ‘discriminated against white men’, leaked document suggests after senior officers said job vacanies should be filled by ‘any remaining women and ethnic minorities’
- Claims RAF broke employment law by favouring female and ethnic minorities
- Allegations led to calls for Chief of the Air Staff Sir Mike Wigston to step down
The Royal Air Force has discriminated against white servicemen, a leaked document obtained by the Daily Mail suggests.
The RAF has faced claims it broke employment law when it attempted to favour female and ethnic minority candidates.
The allegations, which appear to breach the Equality Act 2010, have led to calls for Chief of the Air Staff Sir Mike Wigston to step down.
An exchange of emails between Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Maria Byford – the RAF’s Chief of Staff (personnel) – and Assistant Chief of Staff (workforce requirements) Air Commodore Joanne Lincoln, has been leaked. In July and August last year these senior officers discussed which serving RAF personnel should be offered places on a training course.
In the email, AVM Byford said places should be filled by ‘any remaining women and EMs [Ethnic Minorities] that are ready’ even if the candidates are not ‘first past the post’.
Allegations that The RAF broke employment law when it attempted to favour female and ethnic minority candidates have led to calls for Chief of the Air Staff Sir Mike Wigston, pictured, to step down
Mr Wigston walking with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on December 9, 2022
First past the post is military jargon describing when candidates were tested and how long they have waited for training. The ability of each candidate is also to be considered.
Later in the email AVM Byford attempted to justify the policy. She said: ‘The RAF is committed to increasing diversity and hence we need to sequence inflow into our service.’
The Ministry of Defence said: ‘The RAF is constantly reviewing its recruiting practices to ensure we attract the broadest and best talent. Standards did not drop.
‘But we accept, despite the best of intentions, some mistakes were made.’
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