Priti Patel’s bullying probe was completed ‘weeks ago,’ but ‘Downing Street delays publication due to fear it will be politically embarrassing,’ officials say
- Cabinet Office officially launched an investigation into bullying in March
- Officials claim the probe was completed “weeks ago” and No10 is on findings
- Priti Patel and her allies have vehemently denied all charges of bullying
An investigation into bullying allegations by Priti Patel has been completed “weeks ago,” but Downing Street postpones the publication because they fear the findings will be politically embarrassing, officials say.
The cabinet office is investigating ‘firm criticism’ of the behavior of the Minister of the Interior.
The investigation was launched in March after the supreme official of the Ministry of the Interior, Sir Philip Rutnam, stepped down.
Sir Philip claimed he was “the target of a vicious and orchestrated briefing campaign” and suggested that Ms. Patel was involved.
The Home Secretary had also been accused of bullying officials regarding her time with other Whitehall departments.
Ms. Patel and her allies have vehemently denied all charges against her.
In March, the cabinet released a report on bullying allegations by Priti Patel, depicted in the House of Commons on July 13.
Downing Street has been repeatedly questioned for months when the investigation into whether Ms Patel had violated the minister’s code will be published.
The Financial Times reported today that the investigation, conducted by Helen MacNamara, the government’s director-general for ethics and decency, has been completed.
Officials told the newspaper that the investigation was completed “weeks ago.”
A Whitehall official claimed the report was ranked at number 10 due to the “awkward timing” of publication during the coronavirus crisis and concerns that it could cause political embarrassment.
A government insider told the FT that the report contains “strong criticism” of Ms. Patel’s behavior.
The government is not expected to publish the report in full, but is likely to publish a summary.
Labor has called for the findings of the study to be published without delay.
Nick Thomas-Symonds, shadow minister of the interior, said: “It has been more than four months since the government promised a report on whether the secretary of the interior had been violated.
The investigation was launched after the supreme official of the Ministry of the Interior, Sir Philip Rutnam, stepped down. Sir Philip claimed he was “the target of a vicious and orchestrated briefing campaign” and suggested that Ms. Patel was involved.
“There are now allegations of very inappropriate political interference in the publication of the report, both in content and timing. The delay in its production is completely unacceptable.
“Once again, the government is acting in the interest of a conservative party elite, rather than in the national interest.
“I sent a letter to the Cabinet minister calling for the report to be published immediately so that it could be considered before recess.”