I don’t like it when people in my government lie to me.
I have a feeling I share that opinion with many people.
Priti Patel seized on the part of Alex Allan’s report into bullying allegations against her, that said she had not been warned that her behaviour towards civil service employees exceeded the bounds of acceptability.
But it seems that this was because Sir Alex was prevented from interviewing Sir Philip Rutnam, the former Permanent Secretary to the Home Office, who is suing the government for constructive dismissal.
According to The Guardian,
sources say Allan was informed he could not interview Rutnam because of the legal action. Allan, however, felt that his inquiry was being denied potentially crucial evidence.
Rutnam… said she was clearly advised not to shout and swear at staff the month after her appointment in 2019 and that he told her to treat staff with respect “on further occasions”.
The indication that Sir Alex was prevented from interviewing Sir Philip suggests that his claim is correct. Priti Patel – as the person who was given the advice – would therefore have known she had it.
So it seems she lied, in order to make herself look better. That in itself is despicable.
Worse still, we hear that the prime minister – Boris Johnson – himself asked for the report on Patel to be “palatable”. Doesn’t this suggest that he didn’t want the facts – just something he could use to deflect criticism?
Is it any wonder that Sir Alex resigned after Johnson ignored even the findings of his report as it eventually appeared?
Finally, there is the odious spectacle of Tory MPs and ministers rallying to support Patel – a colleague whose loathsome behaviour appears to have pushed one employee into attempting suicide:
A member of her staff is reported to have attempted suicide after suffering her bullying.
How dare you attempt to endorse that with this nonsense? https://t.co/YL0oWJELTD
— Kerry-Anne Mendoza 🏳️🌈🏴 (@TheMendozaWoman) November 21, 2020
Mr Khan attempted to endorse it because his boss told him to help “form a square around the Prittster”.
So now we have an increasing number of Conservative MPs – and, presumably, other Tories – trying to deceive us all into accepting that there’s no reason for Priti Patel to be removed from office.
It seems one bad apple really can spoil the whole barrel. Or were they already spoiled and this episode just showed us the extent of it?
Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.
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