A Priti Patel aide ‘made formal complaint about her behaviour’ while she was Employment Minister four years ago
- Miss Patel, 47, served in her previous role between May 2015 and July 2016
- BBC journalist Danny Shaw said he learned of the formal complaint against her
- Patel’s spokesperson was ‘not aware’ of the alleged complaint, Shaw said
A formal complaint about under-fire Priti Patel’s conduct was made when she was Employment Minister at Department for Work and Pensions, reports suggest.
The MP for Witham was facing fresh calls to quit today as she remained embroiled in a furious political row over claims she bullied civil servants.
And now, claims have emerged that the 47-year-old was the subject of a formal complaint whilst in her previous role, which she served in between May 2015 and July 2016.
Claims have emerged that 47-year-old Priti Patel was the subject of a formal complaint whilst in her previous role, which she served in between May 2015 and July 2016
The BBC’s Home Affairs Correspondent Danny Shaw broke the news on Twitter, stating that the alleged complaint is believed to have been made by a member of her then private office.
Shaw said in a follow up tweet that Patel’s spokesperson was ‘not aware’ of the complaint, adding that the Government didn’t deny it, saying that they would not comment on personal issues.
Shaw tweeted: ‘Whitehall insider with knowledge of her time at DWP said she’d created a “hostile and unhappy” environment for civil servants there by questioning their capability and undermining their performance. “I felt very sorry for people in her private office – they felt bullied.”‘
He added that a source backed the current Secretary of State for the Home Department, he quoted the source as saying: ‘I wouldn’t describe her as a bully. She was difficult and not afraid to say when she was unhappy.’
Allies of the Home Secretary leapt to her defence this morning as Labour claimed she was on her way out of the department after clashing with mandarins.
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said he could not see how Ms Patel could carry on after Permanent Secretary Sir Phillip Rutnam sensationally quit and said he would take the Government to court.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock defended his colleague’s leadership style. He told Sky’s Ridge on Sunday: ‘Of course Priti is determined. That is right and that is what we want to see’
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said he could not see how Ms Patel could carry on after Permanent Secretary Sir Phillip Rutnam quit and said he would take the Government to court
But Health Secretary Matt Hancock this morning defended his colleague’s leadership style.
He told the BBC’s Andrew Marr program: ‘Priti is a very determined Home Secretary.
‘She is probably closer to where the public are on the issues of law and order than any home secretary in recent history. I think she drives things forward.
‘Now, I also think she is extremely courteous, and in every dealing I’ve had with her she has been very courteous.
‘I can’t get into the details of the case, not least because it looks like it might be going to court and I’m not close to it.’
Sir Philip vowed to sue the Government for constructive dismissal after his name appeared on a ‘hitlist’ of senior civil servants that Downing Street wanted to sack that was leaked to the media.
It is understood that tensions in the Home Office came to a head in September after Sir Philip blocked a pre-Election announcement that Ms Patel wanted to roll out Tasers for police.
It was also felt at the top of Government that Sir Philip had been ‘a roadblock to change’ and has consistently tried to stymie reforms needed to get Britain ready for Brexit.
Asked if Ms Patel could continue as Home Secretary, shadow chancellor John McDonnell told Sky’s Ridge on Sunday: ‘I can’t see it, it’s bizarre.’
He added: ‘One of the ways the Prime Minister could go forward is to have an independent investigation but during that period you’d have to suspend the Home Secretary whilst that went on.’
One source claimed Sir Philip’s public civil war with the Home Secretary was ‘the only way to save face’ after his position became untenable
He added: ‘When you have a civil servant going public like this … I can’t remember a case like this so it must be something pretty serious that is going on.
‘It looks likely she is on the way out.’
But a source claimed Sir Philip’s public civil war with the Home Secretary was ‘the only way to save face’ after his position became untenable.
The explosive resignation came after simmering tensions between Ms Patel and her Permanent Secretary boiled to the surface last weekend, with various reports about a rift between the two.
And it comes amid growing tension between Boris Johnson’s Government and the Civil Service machine.
Source: Read Full Article