Another raft of allegations against Priti Patel came out last night from the Sun and Newsnight, including from her time at the Department for International Development; with the Times claiming successive permanent secretaries at the department were aware of allegations. So why did they sit on the allegations for three years?…
These anonymous briefings from disgruntled civil servants came after Patel tried restoring harmony at the Home Office with an email, calling on the department to “come together as one team” and she “deeply cared” about the “well being” of her civil servants. It seems a small concerted group don’t want harmony…
It took a while for Patel’s allies to finally fight back – also anonymously of course. Speaking to Nicholas Watt, a Tory Party source said:
“What we are seeing is a concerted effort by certain sections of the civil service to undermine a home secretary trying to deliver what people want on crime and immigration. It is deeply disturbing that dark forces are trying to influence the findings of a Cabinet Office inquiry.”
The string also unravelled for one of the anti-Patel allegations of bullying, as it emerged one of those claiming to have been bullied out of the DWP when Priti was Employment Minister was already in the process of quitting when she took over, and the accusations of bullying were made against the department – not the minister.
Sebastian Payne reports the ally – presumably from the DWP – making the point:
“It’s actually very serious that a civil servant had mental health issues and attempted to take her own life because of the way she was treated at work by her Civil Service colleagues. And it’s childish and stupid for anonymous friends of Philip Rutnam to push around false stories about Civil Service mistakes which she had nothing to do with.”
Will anybody besides Liam Fox be brave enough to go on the record at some point?