Cabinet Office inquiry expected to clear Patel of bullying. But what will the courts do?

Priti Patel and Boris Johnson: allies against the civil service?

Read this – it’s not a good thing:

Priti Patel is expected to be cleared this week of bullying senior civil servants in three separate government departments, Whitehall sources have confirmed.

The home secretary had been accused of breaching the ministerial code by mistreating staff at the Home Office, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the Department for International Trade.

Reports of her impending clearance have prompted condemnation of the Cabinet Office inquiry process, which is conducted in secret and offers no recourse for complainants. Boris Johnson has already been criticised for compromising the process by insisting, before the inquiry had concluded, that he would continue to support Patel.

It is not acceptable that Boris Johnson compromised a major inquiry into the behaviour of his Home Secretary by announcing his continued support for her before it had finished.

But here’s why it could turn out well – and embarrassing for Johnson:

She is still to face claims from her former Home Office permanent secretary, Sir Philip Rutnam, who is using whistleblowing laws to take her to an employment tribunal for constructive dismissal.

The courts won’t accept any interference from Johnson – that’s one reason he has already said he wants to restrict their ability to overrule political decisions that contradict the law.

(And you should be thinking about that very hard.)

If the courts find against Patel, it will throw the whole Cabinet Office inquiry process into question.

Source: Priti Patel expected to be cleared of bullying by Cabinet Office inquiry | Politics | The Guardian

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3 thoughts on “Cabinet Office inquiry expected to clear Patel of bullying. But what will the courts do?

  1. SteveH

    I’m quite surprised that the Cabinet Office enquiry hasn’t been suspended until the Employment Tribunal proceedings are complete, surely any outcome from the CO has the potential to undermine the legal case against Patel.

  2. Chris Kitcher

    Having worked in local government all my career I have never trusted internal inquiries because of the pressure that is applied behind the scenes. The majority of people I’m sure view these with distrust especially in the milieu where politicians are involved.

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