With controversies and allegations over British Home Secretary, Priti Patel's bullying in the office, Labour has demanded her to step down. This comes as details regarding the £25,000 settlement with a bureaucrat who complained against Patel in 2015 when she was an employment minister have emerged. Moreover, the Cabinet Office enquiry was also announced on March 2 after the senior-most civil servant in the Home Office publically resigned, levelling a series of allegations against her and even stating his intention to sue the government. However, the UK's Home Secretary has rejected all allegations.
According to reports, the 2015 complaint has a relation to Patel's former aide who received the payout from the British government after claiming she was bullied by her. The person reportedly took an overdose of medicine following the alleged incident, but her entire department did not admit liability and the case did not make it to the tribunal. Legal correspondence reported by an international media outlet, showed the employee bringing a formal complaint of bullying and harassment against her department including the British Home Secretary after being removed from her role in October 2015.
The staff member reportedly also alleged that she was told a year later that the decision of her being removed from the office was not made on the performance grounds but because Patel 'did not like (her) face'. Patel had reportedly even shouted at the woman in her private office and the complaint by the correspondence has said that Patel has acted “without warning” and with an “unprovoked level of aggression”.
In the wake of such allegations, Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott had reprotedly called on Patel to stand down while the inquiry is being carried in the cabinet office. According to Abbott, the investigation was not sufficiently impartial to restore public trust in the relationship between the British government and the civil service.
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson has backed his Home Secretary Priti Patel on March 1 and called her “fantastic” amid a row over the resignation of her top civil servant. As controversy surrounds the cabinet office with allegations of bullying against the Indian-origin minister by Sir Philip Rutnam, her former permanent secretary, Johnson was asked to speak about the issue during his address regarding growing spread of the deadly coronavirus in Britain.
When the British PM was reportedly asked if he had confidence in Patel, he replied in assurance and said, “absolutely”. He further added that “she is a fantastic home secretary. Anybody who has been home secretary will testify it is one of the toughest jobs in the government”. According to international reports, what is being deemed as a clash between the civil servants and the civil service, Johnson also expressed his “admiration” for the British civil servants who he described as “brilliant alpha minds”.