RAF recruitment chief quits amid diversity row over ‘pause on hiring white men’

16 August 2022, 18:40 | Updated: 17 August 2022, 08:47

RAF face backlash after 'recruitment freeze for white men'
RAF face backlash after 'recruitment freeze for white men'. Picture: Alamy

By Megan Hinton

The head of the Royal Air Force recruitment team has resigned amid claims the service has "paused" offering new roles to white men.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

The Group Captain responsible for recruiting has left their post, but is still a serving RAF officer, the Ministry of Defence confirmed.

It comes amid claims the RAF has effectively paused recruiting white men in order to meet diversity targets.

Sky News reported that the senior female officer had imposed a temporary freeze on recruitment but the move caused a widespread backlash from officers who claim the move puts the UK's security at risk by prioritising diversity over recruiting the right candidate for the job.

Read more: Police make me feel unsafe driving in London, says sprinter pulled over twice by Met

A spokesperson for Rishi Sunak told Sky News: "The only thing that should matter in recruitment is the content of your character, not your sex or the colour of your skin.

"That the Ministry of Defence would allow Britain's security to potentially be put at risk by a drive for so called 'diversity' is not only disgraceful, it is dangerous."

But an RAF spokesperson denied the allegations saying: "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.

Read more: 'Someone's taking the p***': Fury as Scotland's first ever male period dignity officer is appointed

"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."

The MoD issued a long thread on Twitter, writing: “Operational effectiveness is of paramount importance and no one is lowering the standards to join the Royal Air Force. The RAF recruits for many professions and like the rest of the Armed Forces is determined to be a force that reflects the society it serves to protect.

“There is no pause in RAF recruitment and no new policy with regards to meeting in-year recruitment requirements.

“The RAF will not shy away from the challenges faced in building a Service that attracts and recruits talent from every part of the UK workforce.

“The RAF is doing everything it can, alongside the Royal Navy and British Army, to increase their recruiting intake from under-represented groups.

“The RAF offers exciting and rewarding opportunities for everyone joining the Service, and to all those who serve.

“They have a well-earned reputation for operational excellence in everything they do. Above all, relying on the quality and talent of all their people to achieve that.”

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Gareth Southgate has said it would be “emotionally impossible” to make a “logical decision” on his future

'Emotionally imposssible' to make decision on future ahead of Euro 2024 final, says England boss Southgate

A crime scene has been set up in Shepherd's Bush, west London

Manhunt for suspect widens to London after human remains of two men found in suitcases in Bristol

More than 1,800 jobs and 272 stores are at risk as major retailer Carpetright is headed towards administration

Carpetright heads towards administration in move that would put all of its 272 stores and nearly 2,000 jobs at risk

Five men died on the OceanGate Titan vessel.

Plaque to be laid next to Titanic in honour of Titan submersible victim

The incident at Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol yesterday

Human remains found in suitcases dumped near Bristol bridge 'belong to two men'

Justice Secretary Shabana Mahmood, with Governor Sarah Bott, during a visit to HMP Bedford in Harpur, Bedfordshire

Thousands of prisoners are to be released after serving just 40 per cent of sentences as jails face 'collapse'

Supermarkets have altered their opening hours for the Euro 2024 final

Get the supplies in: Every supermarket closing early this Sunday as England take on Spain in Euro 2024 final

The Princess Royal has returned to public duties for the first time since her head injury

Princess Anne returns to public duties for first time since horse-related accident

Michael White has been removed from the World Snooker Tour

Professional snooker player jailed for assaulting girlfriend and removed from world tour

England's bus parade would travel to Buckingham Palace to be honoured by King Charles and the Prince of Wales

England to have open-top bus parade through London if Southgate's side beat Spain in Euro 2024 final

Police have launched an investigation after the death of a baby at an address in Taviton street, Camden

Body of newborn baby found in bin as murder investigation launched

It is unknown how the whales became stranded.

Pod of 77 whales dies after becoming stranded on Scottish beach

Gavin Plumb was given three life sentences for plotting to abduct and murder Holly Willoughby

'Depraved loner' Gavin Plumb given three life sentences for plot to kidnap, rape and murder Holly Willoughby

Forensics investigators at the scene in Bushey

Man, 26, arrested on suspicion of triple crossbow murder after three women found dead at Hertfordshire home

Brits face a weekend washout as thunderstorms hit the southwest.

Brits face horror start to weekend as Met Office issues eight-hour thunderstorm warning

Security guard Gavin Plumb has been found guilty of plotting to kidnap, rape and murder television presenter Holly Willoughby.

'Depraved and vile' plot to kidnap, rape and murder Holly Willoughby has had 'life-changing' impact on star