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Priti Patel – Broken Morals

Priti Patel has ‘apologised’ after a Whitehall investigation found that she had “not always met the high standards” required of ministers after an official inquiry concluded that she breached the ministerial code as a result of claims of bullying and harassment from civil servants in three separate government departments.

 

Boris Johnson has (as expected by most given his dealings surrounding the various Dominic Cummings, and other, scandals) rejected calls for her resignation. He has pointed to the report’s conclusion that her actions may have been “unintentional” and its criticism of senior civil servants for not raising their concerns directly with her before they became public. He will also refuse to publish the full Cabinet Office investigation into Patel’s behaviour that led to the report by Sir Alex Allan, his adviser on ministerial standards.

 

Speculation over the inquiry has prompted condemnation of the Cabinet Office inquiry process, which is conducted in secret and offers no recourse for complainants. Johnson has already been criticised for compromising the process by insisting before the inquiry had ended that he would continue to support Patel.

Some of our top experienced civil servants resigned and gave up their career over her activities. She has damaged the background workings of the UK and is clearly unfit for office.  This government has so far shown itself to have no discernible minimum standards of behaviour or responsibility, she’s been sacked once for breaching the ministerial code but that was when she was part of a slightly more honourable government that had some standards. Breaching it a second time ought to have brought the same result, but as we’ve seen, Johnson has no appetite whatsoever to upset the gravy train that this Government has perpetuated.

 

The facts against Patel are damning, in any other walk of life she would have been hauled in front of a court, not just moved to another position of power. Allegations against her emerged in March 2020 after the resignation of Philip Rutnam, the former Home Office permanent secretary, over what he described as a “vicious and orchestrated campaign” against him for challenging the alleged mistreatment of civil servants. According to reports, a senior Home Office official collapsed after a fractious meeting with Patel, who is understood to have successfully asked for another senior official in the department to be moved from their job. It also emerged that an official in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) had received a £25,000 ‘payoff’ after she alleged that she had been bullied in 2015 by Patel, who was employment minister at the time. The DWP did not admit liability and the case did not come before a tribunal. Officials in Patel’s private office at the Department for International Development allegedly accused her of humiliating civil servants in front of others while a minister in 2017. Patel is also facing the possibility of being questioned at a 10-day employment tribunal hearing next September after lawyers for Rutnam pushed forward with a claim for constructive dismissal.

 

What’s the betting that the Rutnam case against Patel will be settled out of court? Sonia Khan’s claim against Cummings was settled this way, with her receiving a large payoff. I will be very shocked if anything meaningful actually happens to Patel. In our modern age of complete intolerance to bullying in any form,it is disgraceful that the Government is basically tolerating such activity by its inaction, and, to a large degree, endorsing its perpetrators. Is this what we want our country to stand for?

 

The United Kingdom is broken, and people like Boris Johnson and Priti Patel are contributors to its sad and continuous decline.

 

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