Health secretary Matt Hancock has been criticised for failing to ‘condemn somebody who is a potential bully’.
Hancock was asked about a leaked copy of a report on allegations of bullying by home secretary Priti Patel.
The minister was appearing on Kay Burley’s breakfast programme when he was asked about the claims from Downing Street that the bullying was “unintentional”.
Burley asked: “Even if it was unintentional bullying is still bullying, isn’t it?”
But Hancock replied: “Unfortunately I haven’t seen the report, which means I can’t go into any more details because I haven’t seen the report.
“But I do know what my experience of working closely with the home secretary is and the experience I’ve always had with her, and she is nothing but courteous in getting the job done.”
Burley pointed out that “none of us seen the report” because Johnson was sitting on the document.
The presenter attempted again to ask what he thought should happen if Patel was found to have bullied her staff.
“Well that was a matter for the prime minister and not for me, I am dealing with the pandemic so I’ll leave that to the prime minister,” replied the health secretary.
“I think the prime minister will make a decision based on all the available evidence.”
As Hancock continued to smirk, Burley continued: “Well I’m sure my viewers will come to their own conclusions whether you want to condemn somebody who potentially bullied someone to the extent they collapsed over night”.
Patel has expressed concern at the “false” claims, and allies have described her as a “demanding” boss but not a bully.