The prime minister has been criticised for allowing the home secretary to continue with her role after breaching the ministerial code.
Despite being repeatedly warned against her ill-treatment of staff Priti Patel continued treating staff with disrespect, her department’s former top civil servant has said.
The former Home Office permanent secretary – who resigned in February said “on a number of occasions”, Ms Patel was warned to treat civil servants with respect, not to shout and swear at them, and “make changes to protect health, safety and welfare”.
Boris Johnson has come under attack for trying to “tone down” an independent report which claimed the home secretary bullied staff. Following the prime minister`s decision allow Ms Patel to keep her job, his own independent standards adviser, Sir Alex resigned.
According to Sir Alex’s report, Ms Patel’s conduct fell below the standards expected of government ministers, but Mr Johnson overruled the report because he “does not believe that Priti Patel is a bully”.
Downing Street said: “As you would expect, the prime minister spoke to Sir Alex Allan to further his understanding of the report. Sir Alex’s conclusions are entirely his own.”
Following the report, Ms Patel gave a “fulsome” apology, saying she was “sorry that my behaviour in the past has upset people”. She insisted that her behaviour was not intentional and said there were “no excuses” for her conduct.
She added: “I am very grateful for the hard work of thousands of civil servants who help to deliver the government’s agenda.
“I care deeply about delivering on the commitments we have made to the people of this country and I acknowledge that I am direct and have at times got frustrated.”