Category Archives: Civil Service

The social care system is being ruined by profiteers [Also in the news]

This window-writing may have been by a child in care, but it might equally have been written by an adult – or by one of the people employed to care for either of them.

The demand for profit is causing huge harm to the private care system, it has been claimed.

Investor returns have become more important than quality care and workers’ pay, according to research.

Private equity, hedge funds and real estate investment trusts have brought in predatory financial techniques, justified in the name of enticing capital into a sector that the government has persistently failed to adequately fund.

Boris Johnson promised to overhaul the system, more than two years ago. He has yet to lift a finger.

That’s unless you include his government’s Covid-19 strategy that killed – what – 30,000 care home residents, at least?

Also in the news:

Charities are warning that foodbank use will rocket if the Universal Credit cut goes ahead

But the Tories have been pushing more and more people into food poverty. It is their policy.

So why would they care?

Iain Duncan Smith wants civil servants to go back to working in the office

The former Tory leader thinks it’s necessary “because there’s an ecosystem around them made up of cafes, restaurants bars, even theatres and other areas that give people jobs and without people back in their offices, going out for sandwiches, you know, coffees, etcetera that ecosystem will collapse and people will lose their jobs”.

Business chief asks Johnson to save firms from the damage done by Brexit – and goes unanswered

In response, Richard Murphy of Tax Research UK has asked why business leaders are putting up with Johnson.

A reader responded that they are probably waiting for the Tories to further reduce workers rights and financial reporting standards, while another pointed out that Johnson made his position clear three years ago when he said, “F*ck business.”

Abbott calls for end to Patel’s cruel mass deportation flights

The fourth mass deportation flight to Jamaica since the Windrush Scandal will leave the UK today (August 11), showing that Home Secretary Priti Patel and her boss Boris Johnson have learned nothing from it.

The excuse is that the deportees are all dangerous criminals – except they aren’t, according to Labour’s Diane Abbott. And they have served the sentence for their crime.

In fact, they are being subjected to double jeopardy, which should be illegal in UK law – penalising people twice for the same crime. It is imposed because the deportees are not white.

And finally:

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The sordid reason the PUBLIC has been made to pay for Priti Patel’s bullying

Yes, again: I know you’ve seen this image of Patel a lot over the last few days but it’s my favourite at the moment and it sums her up very well.

The Home Office has admitted that it used £370,000 of your money to pay off Sir Philip Rutnam after he took legal action over bullying by Priti Patel.

We know she did engage in bullying because we have Sir Alex Allan’s report to prove it. The now-former government adviser on ministerial standards stated clearly that Priti Patel was guilty of bullying civil servants while a minister in three government departments.

I state that he’s the “now-former” government advisor because – as we all know – prime minister Boris Johnson spat in Allan’s face by overruling his finding, lying that Patel had not broken ministerial standards, and saying she could continue in her job (she should have been sacked).

Meanwhile, Sir Philip had launched court proceedings for constructive dismissal – but against the Home Office rather than Patel.

Perhaps he thought he’d get more money that way. We’ve certainly paid £340,000 plus a £30,000 contribution to his costs.

Patel – the bully who caused all the trouble – has got off free as a bird.

Isn’t it time Tory ministers were made to pay for their own offences?

Source: Home Office spent £370,000 settling Patel bullying claim by top civil servant | The Independent

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Greensill: civil servants told to declare unauthorised second jobs while independent inquiry move is rejected

David Cameron: he could almost be saying, “Don’t look at me! There’s a civil servant over there who stacks shelves at a supermarket because I froze her pay in 2011!”

The latest developments in the Greensill scandal show typical Tory attitudes – one rule for them and a different rule for the ‘help’.

So – as predicted by This Site – Conservative MPs have rejected a Labour plan for a full Parliamentary inquiry into lobbying by former MPs on behalf of their current employers. Instead, the government has commissioned a review, to be run by a friend of the Tories. It will be a whitewash.

Meanwhile, civil servants are being ordered to declare second jobs they have that “might conflict” with their rules. This is after repeated assertions that former procurement chief Bill Crothers’s second job with Greensill was thoroughly vetted and above-board.

It seems to This Writer that Boris Johnson is looking for someone to blame; trying to take the heat off his school chum and former colleague, David Cameron.

Of course, civil servants shouldn’t have second jobs at all, let alone second jobs that may create a conflict of interests with their duties in the interests of the nation.

But I wonder how anyone has the time. And it also seems to me that if they have managed to get away with this, then we still have to question the behaviour of government ministers who devised the rules on outside employment.

So if any civil servants – especially those in top jobs – are found to have broken the rules… and if serious conflicts of interest are discovered… then Boris Johnson is still going to have a lot of explaining to do.

Source: Greensill row: Civil servants ordered to declare second jobs – BBC News

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‘Bullied’ former Home Office boss drops case against Patel in return for huge payout of YOUR cash

Sir Philip Rutnam: rather than prove claims of bullying against him – and demonstrate the culture of bullying allegedly created by Priti Patel in the Home Office – he’s going to take the money and run.

Pathetic.

The former Permanent Secretary at the Home Office, Sir Philip Rutnam, has stabbed his fellow civil servants in the back by coming to a settlement of his ‘unfair dismissal’ case against Home Secretary Priti Patel.

Rutnam had claimed he had been the victim of a “vicious and orchestrated” briefing campaign after trying to get Ms Patel to change her bullying behaviour.

His case was due to be heard by an employment tribunal in September – which seems a long wait, considering he quit in February last year.

But now it isn’t going to happen because he has opted to take Patel’s thirty pieces of silver instead – or rather, £340,000 plus his legal costs.

And when I say “Patel’s” money, I mean public money because of course she wouldn’t dream of paying him anything herself.

This is not an appropriate use of public funds.

Labour’s shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said:

Taxpayers will be appalled at having to pick up the bill for the home secretary’s unacceptable behaviour.

(Strictly speaking, he’s not right. The government creates money to cover its expenditure. It taxes us to give that money its value. But he’s right that we should not expect public money to be used to pay for the indiscretions of Tory ministers.)

The government is saying it does not accept liability for the manner of Rutnam’s departure from his job.

If that’s true, then why pay a “substantial” amount to settle the case?

Source: Philip Rutnam: Ex-Home Office boss settles unfair dismissal case – BBC News

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High Court urged to overturn Johnson’s decision to overlook Priti Patel’s bullying

Do you ever wonder whether High Court judges get frustrated that any serious work they do is delayed by the misdeeds of government ministers (not to mention the bleatings of sensitive celebs – but that’s another matter)?

Civil service union the FDA is demanding a judicial review of Boris Johnson’s decision not to sack Priti Patel for breaking the Ministerial Code by bullying officers at the Home Office, Department for International Development and the Department for Work and Pensions.

Johnson rejected the findings of a report by Alex Allan that found Patel was guilty of bullying civil servants while a minister in three government departments.

He defiantly backed her to continue as Home Secretary when, according to the rules, she should have been sacked – and said he had “full confidence” in her.

The decision provoke Allan to resign as government adviser on ministerial standards last November, immediately after the prime minister announced his decision.

It also emerged that Johnson had spent considerable effort trying to rally support for Patel among other ministers. This became even more questionable when it was revealed that Patel’s loathsome behaviour appeared to have pushed one employee into attempting suicide.

Now the FDA is taking the matter to the courts – and about time too:

In a written submission, general secretary Dave Penman told the High Court that “civil servants should expect to work with ministers without fear of being bullied or harassed”.

Mr Johnson’s actions had “fundamentally undermined” the disciplinary process, he added, and the prime minister had “misinterpreted” the definition of bullying in the Ministerial Code.

Mr Penman said there was “bewilderment, dismay and anger among our membership” and there had been “serious detrimental effects to workplace relations and confidence in the process for dealing with complaints against ministers”.

He added that, if Mr Johnson’s decision was not “corrected” by the court, “his interpretation of the Ministerial Code will result in that document failing to protect workplace standards across government”.

This is a row that has been simmering for a year – since the resignation of Sir Philip Rutnam as Home Office permanent secretary in February 2020.

He said he had been the target of a “vicious and orchestrated briefing campaign” ringled by Patel.

And he is pursuing an employment tribunal claim for constructive dismissal.

This action can only be strengthened if the High Court supports the FDA’s application.

Source: High Court urged to overturn PM’s decision to stand by Priti Patel – BBC News

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Web of lies around Priti Patel bullying report: why is she protected if she pushes people to suicide?

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:

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?

Source: Boris Johnson ‘asked for Patel report to be palatable’, source claims – BBC News

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Slap in the face for civil service as Boris Johnson endorses Priti Patel’s bullying

Priti Patel and Boris Johnson: you’re probably sick of this image but I’ve now associated it firmly with the ongoing Patel bullying story. She and Johnson appear to be very firm buddies and he has joined demonstrated that he is happy to trash the ministerial code to keep her in his government.

Alex Allan was right to resign after Boris Johnson metaphorically spat in his face – and in the faces of every civil servant who has ever been abused by an ignorant, self-important MP.

The report on bullying allegations by the now-former government adviser on ministerial standards stated clearly that Priti Patel was guilty of bullying civil servants while a minister in three government departments.

Under current Parliamentary rules, this means she has broken the ministerial code and must resign.

But Johnson has abused his position as prime minister – and therefore the ultimate judge of whether the code has been broken or not. In the face of the evidence, he has ruled that she did not break the code and may continue as Home Secretary.

Standards chief Sir Alex Allan found that Ms Patel had broken the code governing ministers’ behaviour.

But the PM rejected his findings, saying he did not think Ms Patel was a bully and had “full confidence” in her.

Perhaps we should not be surprised that Johnson rejected the report. It seems he had been trying to rally support for Patel, on the quiet, for some time:

It … emerged that he had urged Tory MPs, in a WhatsApp message, to “form a square around the Prittster”.

That approach seems to have worked in the case of Tory nodding dog Matt Hancock – who of course says anything he’s told to say:

Another block in the “wall around the Prittster was Dehenna Davison, who the people of Bishop Auckland – in a moment of madness – seem to have elected as their first Conservative MP.

Her tweet is nothing but whataboutery and she deserved the put-down she received:

Mention of John Bercow puts the seal on the matter, as far as the reliability of her fellow MPs’ comments goes:

And there’s a big difference between allegations about Bercow and those about Patel:

Patel herself has seized on part of the Allan report that said “no feedback was given to the home secretary of the impact of her behaviour, which meant she was unaware of issues that she could otherwise have addressed”.

She has apologised for upsetting people in any way, saying it was “completely unintentional”.

It makes a nice story.

But Sir Philip Rutnam, who resigned as Permanent Secretary to the Home Office earlier this year, said the report was inaccurate on this point and that

Patel was advised not to “swear and shout” at staff last year.

In a statement issued by the FDA union, Sir Philip said: “I have a high regard for Sir Alex Allan and regret his resignation, but I was at no stage asked to contribute evidence to the Cabinet Office investigation which gave rise to his advice to the Prime Minister.

“The advice states that no feedback was given to the Home Secretary and that she was therefore unaware of issues that she might otherwise have addressed. This is not correct.

“As early as August 2019, the month after her appointment, she was advised that she must not shout and swear at staff. I advised her on a number of further occasions between September 2019 and February 2020 about the need to treat staff with respect, and to make changes to protect health, safety and wellbeing.”

So the report did not contain all the information but still found that Patel was a bully – and that was not enough for Boris Johnson to have her removed.

The only conclusion is that Boris Johnson does not care if his MPs mistreat the staff of their government departments.

This means civil servants are not safe in their work and may be subjected to abuse by Conservative MPs at any time – and now know that they may not rely on fair treatment from the Conservative government if this happens.

If any such abuse happens in the future, there’s only one course of action for them to take: the same course as Alex Allan.

Perhaps a mass exodus of expertise will teach Johnson the error of being a bully-supporting bonehead.

But I doubt it.

Source: Priti Patel: Bullying inquiry head quits as PM backs home secretary – BBC News

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Priti Patel ‘broke behaviour rules’ – so that means she’s a bully, right?

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

This is what happens – Boris Johnson – when senior members of the government delay important announcements: other people leak them and steal your thunder.

That can be the only reason for details of the Cabinet Office report on Priti Patel’s misbehaviour in three government departments to be released today – less than 24 hours after This Site suggested Johnson had no excuse to continue sitting on it now that he’s self-isolating and has more time to look into the matter.

Johnson still hasn’t done anything himself, so people around him have taken matters into their own hands.

They say the report – that was finalised all the way back in the summer, showed that

Priti Patel had broken rules on ministers’ behaviour.

It said she

had not met the requirements of the ministerial code to treat civil servants with consideration and respect.

And it said

the investigation had found evidence of bullying, even if it had not been intentional.

How do you bully someone unintentionally?

Under the Ministerial Code, a minister found to have broken its rules must resign.

So it’s “Toodle-pip Priti; don’t call us” – right?

Apparently not.

Remember I said the report was finished in the summer? Johnson has had it since September and has done nothing. One of the BBC’s sources stated not only that

Priti Patel broke the ministerial code

but that

the prime minister buried it.

Now he’s being pushed into doing something – it is being claimed that Johnson will make an announcement on Friday – it seems he is hoping to keep her in her job by changing the rules to allow different penalties.

The BBC’s report states:

Former Cabinet Secretary Sir Mark Sedwill suggested there could be a “wider range of sanctions”, telling MPs: “I don’t think it should be binary between let off or sacked.”

And it seems Johnson wants to use this to get his crony off the hook:

The BBC understands there have been conversations in government this week about how to manage the situation, with suggestions that Ms Patel may be given a reprimand, or be asked to apologise, but keep her job.

Apparently we’ll find out the final decision on Friday but if it isn’t sufficiently punitive, I think many people will agree with Civil Service Union gen sec David Penman:

He described the system as not “fit for purpose”, adding: “We need an independent process that’s not relying upon a prime minister making a political judgement.”

As if that’s going to happen with Johnson in charge!

Source: Inquiry ‘found Priti Patel broke behaviour rules’ – BBC News

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Now Boris Johnson is self-isolating, can he read and release the report on Priti Patel’s bullying?

Priti Patel: her smile in this image means she had probably just done somebody some harm.

Boris Johnson has been sitting on the report on whether Priti Patel bullied civil servants in three different government departments, according to former Cabinet Secretary Mark Sedwill.

I know he reckons he’s working, with the benefit of Zoom or whatever video calling system he prefers, but it seems clear that he’ll have the time to flick through this report now.

Perhaps he’ll even get around to – finally! – giving the thumbs-up for its release.

Hope springs eternal.

I mean, the investigation was launched in the spring, after Sir Philip Rutnam quit as Permanent Secretary to the Home Office alleging a “vicious and orchestrated campaign” against him.

Lord Sedwill said the report had been with Mr Johnson since before he left his post in September.

So for two months now, then.

Say what you like about Labour but it managed to complete an investigation into a high-profile member within 19 days.

So what’s the hold-up?

According to The Mirror, Downing Street said:

“It’s an ongoing process.

“Once we are in a position to make public the PM’s conclusions then we will do so.”

Doesn’t it seem increasingly that the report is damning and Johnson is trying to find a way of pretending that his crony isn’t a wrong ‘un?

Source: Boris Johnson ‘has sat on Priti Patel bullying inquiry report for months’ – Mirror Online

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Is Priti Patel a bully or isn’t she? And is Boris Johnson covering up for her?

 

One man and his crony: Boris Johnson (right) and Priti Patel – who seems to be dressed up like a dog’s dinner for reasons unknown.

Here’s another crony of Boris Johnson who seems to get preferential treatment despite an ever-lengthening series of blunders: Priti Patel.

She was faced with serious allegations of bullying civil service staff at three different government departments in March, including claims from a former Permanent Secretary at the Home Office.

The Cabinet Office launched an inquiry and said that it would be for Johnson – as prime minister – to decide whether to publicise its conclusions.

Well, that inquiry ended some time ago and Johnson has shown no sign of telling us what it decided.

Should we draw our own conclusions?

One person who thinks it would be better if we were just told is Lord Evans of Weardale, the former head of MI5 and now adviser on standards in public life. He said:

When you have got these allegations that have not really been put to bed then it’s easy to say they’ve just been brushed over and I don’t think that’s ideal for public trust and public standards.

The Cabinet Office has done some form of investigation. It has not been published so it is very difficult to know whether there was something here or whether there wasn’t.

And still the uncertainty drags on.

Meanwhile, Patel has legislated to remove our ability to move freely from the UK to other countries. She has tried to have asylum-seeking migrants sent to concentration camps on St Helena or Ascension Island. She allegedly encouraged attacks on “activist lawyers” who stand up for such asylum-seekers’ legal rights. The list of her lunacies lengthens every day.

And Johnson stands by her.

Another of his little cronies.

Source: Boris Johnson under pressure to publish Priti Patel bullying report – Mirror Online

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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