UK’s Priti Patel says after bullying inquiry: sorry if I upset people

Bullying inquiry found Patel ‘broke the rules for ministers’ – report

Johnson's adviser on ministerial standards Alex Allan, who led the investigation into Patel, resigned instead, saying he could not continue in his job.

But Labour accused Mr Johnson of presiding over a "cover-up" after it emerged that a fact-finding report into her behaviour will not be made public.

Opposition politicians accused the prime minister of condoning bullying.

"This does not make you a bully".

Allan concluded that Patel "has not consistently met the high standards required by the Ministerial Code of treating her civil servants with consideration and respect".

Allen cited examples of "shouting and swearing". A report to into Ms Patel's conduct carried out by Sir Alex said: "Her approach on occasions has amounted to behaviour that can be described as bullying in terms of the impact felt by individuals".

"We need an independent process that's not relying upon a Prime Minister making a political judgement rather than judging based on the evidence", he added.

The Prime Minister notes Sir Alex's advice that numerous concerns now raised were not raised at the time and that the Home Secretary was unaware of the impact that she had.

Although Sir Alex found that Ms Patel's behaviour had breached the ministerial code "even if unintentionally", Mr Johnson rejected his findings.

The Ministerial Code says that "harassing, bullying or other inappropriate or discriminating behaviour wherever it takes place is not consistent with the Ministerial Code".

"I acknowledge that I am direct and have at times got frustrated", she said.

The BBC said a draft report concluded in the summer that Ms Patel had broken the rules on ministers' behaviour.

"It is hard to imagine another workplace in the United Kingdom where this behaviour would be condoned by those at the top", said Labour party leader Keir Starmer. He told BBC Breakfast: "I think she's doing an excellent job and is an excellent Home Secretary and really delivering on things that matter to people In all the dealings I've ever had with her she's been nothing but courteous".

"It is hard to imagine another workplace in the United Kingdom where this behaviour would be condoned by those at the top". Instead, it is one rule for Boris Johnson and his friends, another for everyone else.

She has previously served as the Secretary of State for International Development (2016-17), Minister of State for Employment (2015-16), Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury (2014-15) and is also the incumbent MP for Witham.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday stood by his interior minister, a hardline ally in the Brexiteer government, resisting calls for her resignation after an official finding that she may have bullied staff.

Channel 4 News said the full report would not be published although its findings would be covered in the annual report of the Prime Minister's adviser on ministerial interests, Sir Alex Allan.

A government statement said Mr Johnson was "reassured that the home secretary is sorry for inadvertently upsetting those with whom she was working". He is also reassured that relationships, practices and culture in the Home Office are much improved.

Meanwhile, then Cabinet Secretary Sir Mark Sedwill told all civil servants that advice they provide for ministers and "any debates" around it should remain "private".

Related:

Comments


Other news