Priti Patel allies to ‘demand apology’ over bullying allegations

PUBLISHED: 10:38 30 April 2020 | UPDATED: 10:38 30 April 2020

Lib Dems MPs have urged the home secretary to begin recording the ethnicity of hate crime victims. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA.

Lib Dems MPs have urged the home secretary to begin recording the ethnicity of hate crime victims. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA.

PA Wire/PA Images

Allies of Priti Patel are demanding that critics apologise to the home secretary as she is expected to be cleared of bullying allegations.

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The Daily Telegraph reports that an investigation into the Tory MP, overseen by cabinet secretary Sir Mark Sedwill, found no evidence to support claims she had bullied staff in three different departments.

The report follows the resignation of Sir Philip Rutnam, who is suing for constructive dismissal after accusing Pate of bullying staff.

Labour has called on Michael Gove, Cabinet Office minister, to release the findings of the inquiry into the public so they could be “completely assured” over the conduct of government ministers.

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But Brexiteer allies of the home secretary have called for an apology to Patel before the report had been released or concluded.

Mark Francois, current chair of the European Research Group, said he was glad “she has been completely exonerated”.

Iain Duncan Smith, former leader of the Conservative Party, said that the government should “jump” on the issue and bring to account those with an “ulterior motive”.

Former Tory MEP Daniel Hannan said those who briefed against Patel “owed her an apology”.

Patel made headlines earlier in the month for a lack of sincerity in her apologies to those who felt that there had been failings in the government handling of personal protective equipment (PPE).

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