The Conservative party have released a press release claiming that the “Ministry of Justice Bans Tinsel.” But the story is a hoax and Conservative spokesman, Will Littlejohn, was unable to provide evidence to back up the claims.
The press release claims that:
“Civil servants working for the Court Service have been told that they cannot put tinsel around their desks as it “might offend other religions”.
“The officials, who provide administrative support and do not work in courts themselves, have been told that tinsel would break the Court Service Diversity Policy, which commits court service managers to “creating a culture where E&D [equality and diversity] forms an integral part of everyday working life” and “incorporating E&D into day-to-day management activities”.
A note on the release sets out that, “Baroness Warsi has received a letter from a member of the public which says: ‘I work as an admin officer in the county court and we have been told that we can’t put tinsel around our counter window as it might offend other religions according to the HMCS Diversity Policy’.” Baroness Warsi is quoted saying:
“Non-Christians don’t want to see Christmas banned, and they’re fed up of being patronised by Labour”.
A Ministry of Justice source told Left Foot Forward, “It’s complete nonsense. There’s tinsel everywhere – you can’t move for the stuff.” Indeed, Justice Secretary Jack Straw penned an article for The Times on Christmas Eve 2005 when he said:
“I was horrified to learn from an American friend that in the circles in which she, at least, moves it is considered not the done thing to wish people one does not know well “Merry Christmas”, still less to send out “Christmas” cards saying so.
“It’s mad, in my opinion.”