THE Scottish Government will continue to employ equality, diversity and inclusion officers despite demands from the Tory “minister for common sense” to have the roles scrapped, The National has learned.

They work to promote those values in organisations and reduce discrimination, spending most of their time on staff training programmes and advising organisations on how to avoid discrimination.

But they are controversial in some quarters, with many Conservatives believing the roles are a waste of time and money.

Esther McVey, a Cabinet minister who has been dubbed the “minister for common sense”, earlier this week revealed she would demand the civil service axe the roles.

She said around 400 people were employed in equality, diversity and inclusion officer roles in the civil service and called for them to be absorbed into human resources departments, with staff exclusively focused on statutory duties in complying with anti-discrimination laws.

But a Scottish Government source has confirmed to this paper there is no intention to replicate that policy north of the Border.

A spokesperson said: “The Scottish Government is making progress towards our ambition to be a world leading, diverse employer, with a workforce that reflects the diversity of the people of Scotland. We remain committed to work that makes the Scottish Government a stronger and more inclusive workplace.”

A Cabinet Office spokesperson said: “The Scottish Government has devolved responsibility for the management of civil servants employed by them.”

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The Scottish Greens welcomed the news saying the work done by equality, diversity and inclusion officers was “important”.

MSP Maggie Chapman said: “Equality, diversity and inclusion are important values. They are at the heart of any good and progressive society, and they stand in stark opposition to almost everything the Tories have done over 14 years of racist and reactionary misrule.

“The Scotland that we want to build is one where everyone feels safe and represented, rather than one where the Tories try to play divide and rule and turn communities against one another.”

Christine Jardine, the LibDems’ equalities spokesperson added: “It strikes me that the so-called minister for common sense is sadly lacking in that commodity or she would recognise the value of equality and diversity officers.”