riti Patel has issued an extra “unreserved apology” after she was discovered to have bullied Home Office workers and damaged the ministerial code.
Speaking on the BBC, she mentioned: “I’m right here to provide an unreserved apology at this time and I’m sorry if I’ve upset individuals in any means by any means.
“That was fully unintentional and I’ll be very candid, you already know the work that I do right here on this division and throughout Government is deeply difficult.
“So, if I’ve upset individuals, that has been fully unintentional, that was not my intention and I’m completely sorry for any upset that has been related to that.”
Sir Allan mentioned the Home Secretary had not all the time handled civil servants with “consideration and respect” and concluded that her strategy on events “amounted to behaviour that can be described as bullying in terms of the impact felt by individuals”.
He mentioned Ms Patel had “not consistently met the high standards required by the ministerial code”, although mentioned there was “no evidence that she was aware of the impact of her behaviour”.
But Mr Johnson, who’s arbiter of the code, judged that Ms Patel didn’t breach the principles. He continues to have “full confidence” within the Home Secretary and “considers this matter now closed”, in accordance with a Government assertion.
In his resignation assertion Sir Alex mentioned: “I recognise that it’s for the Prime Minister to make a judgement on whether or not actions by a Minister quantity to a breach of the ministerial code.
“But I really feel that it’s proper that I ought to now resign from my place because the Prime Minister’s unbiased adviser on the code.”
Ms Patel mentioned Sir Alex had mentioned in his recommendation to the Prime Minister that the allegations needed to be put into the “context of what has been going on in this department and how this organisation is changing”.
“I’m working with the Permanent Secretary here, Matthew Rycroft, to really change the culture and ways of working in this department and it is correct, if you read the report, that I’m very clear about this, any upset that I’ve caused is completely unintentional and at the time, of course it says it in the report, that issues were not pointed out to me.”
She mentioned the Home Office was a “challenging department” the place “we’re making life and death decisions every single day in this department”.
Her apology didn’t wash with Lord Kerslake, a former head of the Civil Service, who mentioned that Ms Patel’s refusal to resign was “reprehensible”. “
It is completely a clear-cut breach of the code on a really critical problem of bullying. In these circumstances in some other time the minister would have gone,” he advised the BBC.
“We expect higher standards from our Government. We expect them to follow the highest possible standard of behaviour. She hasn’t met it, she should go and the fact that she isn’t going is in my view just reprehensible.”
He added: “I think it will worry people that when we are under pressure, push comes to shove, political expediency will trump proper standards of conduct and behaviour. “I have to say – and I don’t like saying this – that the standards have fallen since Boris Johnson became Prime Minister.”
At Friday’s Downing Street coronavirus press convention, Health Secretary Matt Hancock dodged a query on why there must be an unbiased adviser on the ministerial code if the Prime Minister overrides their judgment.
He mentioned: “I have answered the question on the Home Secretary, and the Prime Minister has been clear that he doesn’t think the Home Secretary has broken the ministerial code.”
Earlier Mr Johnson’s press secretary Allegra Stratton mentioned the Prime Minister “loathes bullying” and takes the allegations “seriously”, however didn’t take into account Ms Patel to be a bully.
Ms Stratton advised a Westminster briefing: “These have been extraordinarily critical allegations that have been made and which have been handled intimately, not simply by Sir Alex Allan but in addition by the Prime Minister.
“The Prime Minister does personally take these allegations exceedingly severely. He loathes bullying. He takes it very severely and recognises that it is rather tough for individuals to come back ahead and lift considerations. It is a courageous factor to do. He is aware of that.
“He did say that he wouldn’t tolerate bullying. He hasn’t tolerated bullying. It is just not his perception that Priti Patel is a bully.”
Downing Street indicated that the total report into Ms Patel’s conduct wouldn’t be printed as a way to defend those that gave proof.
A Cabinet Office investigation was launched in March over allegations that Ms Patel belittled colleagues and clashed with senior officers in three totally different departments.
It adopted the resignation of the Home Office’s everlasting secretary Sir Philip Rutnam, who accused Ms Patel of a “vicious and orchestrated briefing campaign” in opposition to him and is claiming constructive dismissal at an employment tribunal.
With reporting by PA