Simon Case, the government’s new cabinet secretary, is under pressure to publish the long-awaited report on allegations surrounding home secretary Priti Patel and bullying.
The Financial Times reports that the sensitive report, that follows an investigation launched in March, had been kept secret by Downing Street due to its findings and the prime minister’s support for Patel.
‘The report has evidence of bullying, but the judgment is that it is not enough to sack. That would be a tough one to publish and an apology is being resisted by her [Patel],’ claimed a source.
Another Whitehall insider told the newspaper that ‘the report has corroborated some of the allegations and calls on Priti to apologise. But she and No 10 are resisting, hence why it hasn’t been released.’
The senior civil servant who led the inquiry, Helen MacNamara, is said to want the document to be published, but has encountered resistance from Johnson’s inner circle.
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It was reported that she was set to be ‘moved on’ in the autumn from her post after claims her report will ’embarrass’ the government.
The newspaper reports that Dominic Cummings, Johnson’s chief adviser, and Lee Cain, Downing Street’s head of communications, do not feel that Patel should have to apologise.
A Whitehall source said that the report could determine what kind of cabinet secretary he becomes.
‘What Simon does with the Patel investigation will be crucial to deciphering what kind of cabinet secretary he will be. The investigation needs to be finished and published. He has to prove he’s on the side of the civil service, not just the PM.’
The Cabinet Office – which launched the investigation after claims she belittled colleagues and clashed with senior officials in three different departments – said the ‘process was ongoing’.