Priti Patel 'broke the rules for ministers', claims leaked report

Home secretary Priti Patel

Home secretary Priti Patel - Credit: PA

A long-awaited investigation into allegations of bullying by Priti Patel must be published without delay, Labour has demanded amid reports it found she broke the rules for ministers.

A draft report last summer found the home secretary had breached the requirements in the ministerial code to treat civil servants with consideration and respect – although any bullying may not have been “intentional” – according to the BBC.

Earlier, the Financial Times reported that Boris Johnson had decided only to issue her with a written warning rather than dismissing her from the cabinet as would normally be the case for a breach of the code.

Dave Penman, general secretary of senior civil servants’ union the FDA, said: “In his foreword to the ministerial code, Boris Johnson said: ‘There must be no bullying and no harassment’.

“If, as is being suggested, substance has been found in some of the allegations against the home secretary, then the prime minister should have no choice but to conclude that the code has been breached.

“As prime minister, he is the sole arbiter of the ministerial code but he is also minister for the Civil Service.

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“Having pledged his support for the home secretary when the investigation began, and now sat on the report since the summer, he has already undermined confidence in this being a fair and impartial process.”

The calls came as the BBC reported that Johnson could announce his conclusions as early as Friday.

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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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