Boris Johnson adviser calls for Priti Patel bullying report to be published

Priti Patel in the House of Commons

Priti Patel in the House of Commons - Credit: Parliament Live

An adviser to Boris Johnson has called for the report into allegations of bullying by Priti Patel should be made public.

Lord Evans of Weardale, the former head of MI5 and now adviser on standards in public life, said not revealing the report risks undermining voters' trusts and would suggest the issue was "brushed over".

A Cabinet Office investigation was launched in March over allegations that Patel belittled colleagues and clashed with senior officials in three different departments.

Sir Philip Rutnam, who was the Home Office’s permanent secretary, quit earlier this year, accusing the minister of a “vicious and orchestrated briefing campaign” against him and is claiming constructive dismissal at an employment tribunal.

Patel has expressed concern at the “false” claims, and allies have described her as a “demanding” boss but not a bully.

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Lord Evans told the Times: “When you have got these allegations that have not really been put to bed then it’s easy to say they’ve just been brushed over and I don’t think that’s ideal for public trust and public standards.

“The Priti Patel case would be an example. The Cabinet Office has done some form of investigation. It has not been published so it is very difficult to know whether there was something here or whether there wasn’t.”

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The head of the Civil Service Simon Case told MPs in October it was up to Johnson to draw conclusions from the Whitehall probe and decide whether to make its report public.

Responding to questions on the slow progress of the inquiry in the House of Lords last week, Cabinet Office minister Lord True said: “The prime minister asked the Cabinet Office to establish the facts in line with the Ministerial Code.

“To protect the interests of all involved, the government does not comment on the specifics of these kinds of ongoing processes.

“The prime minister will make any decision on the matter public once the process has concluded.”

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