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Draft report into Priti Patel bullying allegations found she broke the UK's ministerial code

An investigation was launched in March over allegations that Patel belittled colleagues and clashed with officials.

Image: Press Association

A DRAFT REPORT into allegations of bullying by UK Home Secretary Priti Patel has reportedly found that the Conservative MP broke the ministerial code.

A Cabinet Office investigation was launched in March over allegations that Patel belittled colleagues and clashed with senior officials in three different departments.

Sir Philip Rutnam, who was the Home Office’s permanent secretary, quit earlier this year, accusing Patel of a “vicious and orchestrated briefing campaign” against him.

Rutman is claiming constructive dismissal at an employment tribunal, but Patel has expressed concern at the “false” claims and allies have described her as a “demanding” boss but not a bully.

The report has yet to be concluded, and reports emerged this week that Prime Minister Boris Johnson could only issue Patel with a written warning, rather than dismissing her from the Cabinet.

This evening, Sky News reports that the report found Patel broke the code governing ministers’ conduct by failing to treat staff with consideration and respect.

It’s also reported that the investigation is critical of Patel’s behaviour and that the report will call for the Home Secretary to make a formal apology.

Earlier, Labour called reports that the Patel would be issued with a warning as “incredibly serious”.

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The Financial Times has cited sources earlier which said Johnson was intending to “fudge” the outcome of the report which has “robust criticisms” of Patel’s behaviour.

Dave Penman of the senior civil servants’ union the FDA said that if the reports were true, then the Prime Minister should have no choice but to conclude that the code has been breached.

He added that Johnson should publish the report and introduce a new independent complaints system.

With reporting from Press Association.

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