The Cabinet Office minister says Labour’s obsession with waging the culture wars would divide society into ‘feuding factions’.
And she warns that normalising woke views in the public sector will create a workforce that is ‘distracted by equality and diversity quotas, pronouns and gender debates’, rather than being focused on the job.
Writing in the Mail, Ms McVey – dubbed the ‘minister for common sense’ – also rounds on Sir Keir Starmer for his claim this week that it is the Conservatives who are obsessed with the so-called culture war.
The Labour leader accused ministers of engaging in a ‘kind of weird McCarthyism’ by trying to root out ‘woke agendas’ in British institutions. But Ms McVey calls him a ‘card-carrying culture warrior’ who has ‘found himself fighting on the wrong side’.
‘This is a man who – alongside Angela Rayner – solemnly ‘took the knee’ in support of the divisive Black Lives Matter organisation in 2020 and, let’s not forget, finds it notoriously difficult to define what a woman is,’ she writes.
Her intervention is further evidence that the culture wars are set to be a key dividing line at the general election later this year.
At Prime Minister’s Questions this week, Rishi Sunak mocked Sir Keir as ‘the man who takes the knee, who wanted to abolish the monarchy, and who still does not know what a woman is’. Sir Keir later refused to say whether he now regrets taking the knee.
Ms McVey confirms today she is writing to more than 300 public bodies, such as NHS England and the Environment Agency, to ensure they are focused on the needs of the public.