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The RAF’s head of recruitment resigned after reportedly refusing to follow a diversity order to prioritise women and ethnic minority candidates over white men.

The group captain, who heads the RAF’s 450-strong recruitment team, reportedly told her boss in an email on August 4 that she thought allocating slots on RAF training courses based only on gender or ethnicity was “unlawful”.

In a leaked email obtained by Sky News, the officer said: “I am not prepared to delegate or abdicate the responsibility of actioning that order to my staff.”

Defence sources said the recruitment chief quit on the same day as she was not prepared to implement the “course loading”.

She resigned as Group Captain Recruitment & Selection, based at RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire, but is still a serving RAF officer, the Ministry of Defence confirmed.

The Group Captain said in her email two days later that the order to load women and ethnic minorities alone was “not actioned”.

A minister said on Friday that any evidence of positive discrimination within the RAF would be investigated, following allegations the service has “paused” offering new roles to white men.

Positive discrimination is the unlawful preference or promotion of someone based on a protected characteristic such as gender, sexual orientation or skin colour, under equality legislation.

However, an employer may legally take some steps to improve workplace diversity, known as positive action.

James Heappey, the Armed Forces minister, denied claims that a “pause” had been put in place on job offers for white men in favour of women and ethnic minorities, in order to hit diversity targets.

He stressed that no policy is implemented despite the RAF recruitment team receiving an order on August 2 from the chain of command, according to Sky News.

He said that Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston, who heads the RAF, had asked his team to “pause” offering training slots to all candidates while they consider how they might take ‘positive action’ to assist improving diversity levels on various training courses in the year to March 2023.

“If there are avenues for the chief of the air staff to look at positive action, then that’s fine and he’s created himself room to do that. But we must be absolutely clear that no policy is implemented,” Mr Heappey said.

An RAF spokesperson said the concerns raised by the now-resigned head of recruitment had been “addressed” by her chain of command.

“The RAF recruits people from the widest possible pool of talent and is becoming a more diverse organisation, but we will not do so at the expense of our high standards, operational effectiveness, or adherence to legal obligations,” a spokesman said on Sunday.

“We frequently review our recruitment processes, seeking legal advice to ensure that we are mindful of our legal obligations.

“Any allegations that we have failed to do so are investigated without delay. The concern raised in this instance was addressed by the Chain of Command at the time and we continue our work to ensure recruitment processes remain compliant with all policy and legal requirements.”

Original Article: RAF recruitment chief ‘refused unlawful order to prioritise women and ethnic minorities… – LBC

Written by CFP Staff Writer

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