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Demands to release report ‘clearing’ Priti Patel of bullying claims

Boris Johnson is facing demands to release the official report into Priti Patel after the Cabinet Secretary apparently cleared her over bullying allegations.   

Sir Mark Sedwill’s probe found ‘no evidence’ to corroborate the allegations made by staff at the Home Office, the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department for International Trade.

In addition the review, presented to Boris Johnson on Monday, is said to have found the Home Secretary had not breached the ministerial code.

But Labour has called for the results of the investigation to be made public immediately, while a civil service union has branded the timing of the leaks ‘suspicious’ as Ms Patel prepares for a potential stormy grilling by MPs this morning.  

Priti Patel has been cleared of bullying staff throughout government departments after a probe by the Cabinet Secretary was launched last month  (pictured: speaking at the coronavirus daily briefing earlier this month)

Priti Patel has been cleared of bullying staff throughout government departments after a probe by the Cabinet Secretary was launched last month  (pictured: speaking at the coronavirus daily briefing earlier this month)

Priti Patel has been cleared of bullying staff throughout government departments after a probe by the Cabinet Secretary was launched last month  (pictured: speaking at the coronavirus daily briefing earlier this month)

Source close to Ms Patel told MailOnline that she had not been informed of the results of the inquiry. 

A formal investigation into Ms Patel’s treatment of Sir Philip Rutnam, formerly the most senior civil servant in the Home Office, and other staff was launched last month. 

Just days ago Sir Philip began legal action against Ms Patel, claiming ‘constructive dismissal.’

He had resigned alleging that he was the victim of a ‘vicious and orchestrated’ campaign in a dramatic televised announcement on the BBC.

But a Whitehall source told The Daily Telegraph: ‘They have looked at all the claims and found nothing. ‘They trawled through lots of material but found no evidence.’ 

Sir Philip’s claims had prompted an avalanche of allegations against Mr Johnson’s highest ranking female minister, all of which she denied. 

Among them, were that she ‘dressed down’ staff in front of their colleagues and asked: ‘Why is everyone so f***ing useless?’ 

Sir Philip Rutnam is taking the Home Secretary to an employment tribunal accusing her of unfair dismissal and claiming he should have been protected as a whistleblower

Sir Philip Rutnam is taking the Home Secretary to an employment tribunal accusing her of unfair dismissal and claiming he should have been protected as a whistleblower

Sir Philip Rutnam is taking the Home Secretary to an employment tribunal accusing her of unfair dismissal and claiming he should have been protected as a whistleblower

The Prime Minister gave his full backing to Ms Patel, telling the Commons last month: ‘The Home Secretary is doing an outstanding job … and I’m sticking by her.’  

In a letter to Michael Gove, Labour frontbenchers Nick Thomas-Symonds and Rachel Reeves, said: ‘We appreciate that the country is dealing with an unprecedented challenge in response to the Coronavirus and the Prime Minister’s illness, in respect of which we wish him a swift recovery. 

‘However, it is absolutely vital that the findings of the inquiry are made public as soon as possible. 

‘At a time when additional powers are being assumed by the government, the imperative that the public are completely assured of the conduct of senior Ministers is even greater.’ 

Dave Penman, general secretary of the FDA civil servants’ union, questioned the timing of reports that Priti Patel had been cleared of breaching the ministerial code. He said: ‘It’s suspicious in terms of the timing of it as Priti Patel is before the Home Affairs Select Committee today. 

‘The ministerial code was never really intended to deal with these sorts of issues like bullying and harassment, it was for things like conflicts of interest from ministers. 

‘It doesn’t equate to any normal bullying and harassment process any significant employer would have or would apply to anyone else in the civil service.’  

Courtesy DAILY MAIL

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