New health secretary Thérèse Coffey has been heavily criticised after her office issued guidance to workers telling them to "be positive" and avoid using Oxford commas.

The Financial Times has revealed a document titled "New secretary of state ways of working preferences" was sent to staff at the Department of Health and Social Care and the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).

The email is understood to have asked employees to "be precise" and "be positive - if we have done something good, let us say so".

It also stipulated that staff should avoid double negatives and Oxford commas.

The new deputy prime minister has a long-term dislike for the Oxford comma, labelling it as one of her "pet hates" in a Twitter post from 2015.

One UKHSA employee told the Financial Times that the email was "super patronising," adding: "The idea that we have to frame issues positively indicates a person who doesn't want to deal with problems, so that's not encouraging."