Tag Archives: bully

Boris Johnson isn’t the only Tory in trouble for breaking the rules

Daniel Kawczynski: this was his justification for bullying his staff.

Here’s Daniel Kawczynski, MP for Shrewsbury and Atcham:

Conservative MP Daniel Kawczynski is facing a one-day suspension from the Commons after being found to have broken the rules over an apology he gave for bullying parliamentary staff.

So, not only was he found guilty of bullying his own staff – he has now been found guilty of breaking the rules for apologising about it!

The recommendation has been made by the Commons Standards Committee and follows comments the MP for Shrewsbury and Atcham made before he said sorry last June.

The committee ruled that interviews he gave on local radio and with a newspaper before the required apology in the Commons chamber meant he had failed to comply, as the apology was not “unequivocal”.

In its report, the committee said: “Although he says he was sincere by the time he made the apology to the House, he had that morning effectively undermined the sincerity of that apology by broadcasting the fact that he was making it because he was required to do so and he disagreed with the way the case had been conducted.

I wonder if he expected the government to change the rules for him, as it tried to do for his former North Shropshire colleague, Owen Paterson?

Read the full story here: Tory MP facing suspension for breaking rules over apology for bullying parliamentary staff

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#PritiPatel #bullying: can anyone explain the logic of #HighCourt ruling against union’s legal challenge?

Priti Patel and Boris Johnson. You can imagine what he’s saying to her right now: “Keep smiling because I think we’ve got away with it!”

There’s something about this judgement that isn’t quite right.

The High Court has rejected a legal challenge by civil service union the FDA against Boris Johnson’s ruling that Priti Patel’s bullying of civil servants did not break the Ministerial Code.

Lord Justice Lewis, sitting with Mrs Justice Steyn, said that Johnson had not “misdirected himself” (misinterpreted the meaning of the Ministerial Code) when coming to his decision.

The judge said: “The question for this court is whether the prime minister proceeded on the basis that conduct would not fall within the description of bullying within paragraph 1.2 of the ministerial code if the person concerned was unaware of, or did not intend, the harm or offence caused.

“Reading the statement (made by Johnson) as a whole, and in context, we do not consider that the prime minister misdirected himself in that way.”

So the question was whether Patel could be said to have bullied someone if she was unaware of – or said she was unaware of – the harm or offence she caused.

Paragraph 1.2 of the Ministerial Code states: “Ministers should be professional in all their dealings and treat all those with whom they come into contact with consideration and respect. Working relationships, including with civil servants, ministerial and parliamentary colleagues and parliamentary staff should be proper and appropriate.”

It makes no mention of whether a minister’s intentions have any bearing on whether their behaviour may breach the code; therefore Patel’s intentions were irrelevant.

This is consistent with then-advisor on ministerial standards, Sir Alex Allan’s, advice at the time: “Her approach on occasions has amounted to behaviour that can be described as bullying in terms of the impact felt by individuals. To that extent, her behaviour has been in breach of the ministerial code, even if unintentionally.”

But Johnson’s ruling relied entirely on Patel’s intentions. He said Patel was “unaware” of the impact she had and he was “reassured” she was “sorry for inadvertently upsetting those with whom she was working”.

In response, Sir Alex immediately resigned his advisory role. He was not prepared to continue working for Johnson in the knowledge that the prime minister was willing to allow breaches of the Code in such a way.

And we see now that the High Court has ruled in favour of Johnson, saying he did not misdirect himself into thinking that her conduct did not fall under the description of bullying if Patel had been unaware that it was having that effect – which is odd, because his statement clearly shows that this is exactly what he said.

So the judges’ decision is wrong, it seems.

Also – strangely – the decision does not seem to take account of the main thrust of the defence put forward by Johnson’s lawyers, which was that the Ministerial Code is a “political document”, “does not create or impose any legal duties on ministers or the prime minister”, is “not required by law” and its contents “not regulated by law”.

The court’s decision shows that it does, it is, and it is – and the FDA union seems well pleased with that result, saying the high court had confirmed the prohibition on bullying, discrimination and harassment in the ministerial code is justiciable in the courts.

This Writer doesn’t see how that helps, if the High Court is just going to rubber-stamp Johnson’s decisions, no matter how illogical they are.

Dave Penman, the union’s general secretary, said the court had determined that “the prime minister did not acquit the home secretary of bullying” and he “did not reject the findings of Sir Alex Allan that her conduct amounted to bullying”.

If that were true, then wouldn’t the court have said that the Ministerial Code was indeed breached and Patel should resign? Bullying is, by definition, unprofessional, improper and inappropriate.

Still, if nothing else it means This Site and others can call her a bully with impunity.

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How can anyone support Boris Johnson, knowing the contempt he has for them?

Contempt: Boris Johnson exhibits his honest reaction to the ordinary people of the United Kingdom who voted him into the highest office in the land.

If you know anybody who still thinks Boris Johnson gives a damn about their interests, or has the well-being of the UK at heart, tell them what happened to Damian Furniss.

Mr Furniss is now a writer and a worker in health and social care, based in Devon. But in 1984, he was awaiting an interview for a place at Balliol College, Oxford, when he encountered Johnson at the bar:

“Three years older than me, and half way through the second class degree in Classics he coasted through with the diligence he later applied to journalism and red box briefings, you’d have expected him to play the ambassador role, welcoming an aspiring member of his college.

“Instead, his piss-taking was brutal. In the course of the pint I felt obliged to finish he mocked my speech impediment, my accent, my school, my dress sense, my haircut, my background, my father’s work as farm worker and garage proprietor, and my prospects in the scholarship interview I was there for. His only motive was to amuse his posh boy mates.

“In short, he demonstrated all of the character flaws that make him unfit to be our Prime Minister. Nothing I see today suggests he has changed. He’s not Falstaff, he’s Faust. If you are an ordinary working person and think he has your interests at heart, think again.”

Read it for yourself, if you are able to read text in images:

The trouble is, there are millions of ordinary working people who still – unaccountably – reckon that Johnson does have their interests at heart.

If you know any of them, please do the rest of us a favour.

Tell them about what happened to Mr Furniss. Get them to read this article if you can.

And then make it clear to them that Boris Johnson would treat them in exactly the same way.

He’s an overprivileged, entitled posh boy whose only interest is his own enrichment. He thinks you exist purely to supply him and his oiky buddies with free money, or to entertain them by submitting to his insults and bullying.

He doesn’t care about you and he never will – and everything he does is intended to harm you.

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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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Tory Kawczynski apologises for drunken bullying – but this is not his first offence. Shouldn’t he resign?

Why is Daniel Kawczynski being allowed to get off with an apology after he drunkenly bullied civil servants over an IT issue?

He should be facing investigation with a view to demanding his resignation from Parliament. Right?

It’s not even his first bullying offence.

Kawczynski was forced to apologise, according to the BBC, after IT issues made it impossible for him to take part in discussions of a Parliamentary committee.

The independent report into his conduct said Mr Kawczynski had “repeatedly” contacted one of the complainants through the day on his personal mobile, and was “repeatedly aggressive, rude and impatient”.

As the day went on, it became clear he had consumed alcohol, it added.

Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards Kathryn Stone said Mr Kawczynski had also made “critical and untruthful comments” on a WhatsApp group shared with other committee members.

He got drunk, bullied one of the civil servants who had tried to help him, and lied about both of them to his colleagues.

And the only reason he apologised was because a second panel set up to determine what punishment he should accept told him to do so, after he had appealed against the (identical) decision of the first.

This is the bully who, in 2018, threatened legal action against an editor of the BBC’s Newsnight, Ian Katz, who had suggested that his defence of Saudi Arabia’s war of annihilation in Yemen might be linked to the size of his expenses budget whenever he took trips to that country.

In March 2020, tweeted support for his fellow Tory bully, Home Secretary Priti Patel, who was later found guilty of bullying civil servants by a Cabinet Office inquiry but went unpunished because Boris Johnson refused to accept the decision.

Perhaps he thought that, if she could get away with it, he could?

He is the entitled Tory bully who wanted to override the will of the Welsh people – and abolish the Welsh Assembly and its government – so he could visit the beach.

Wales has different Covid-19-related restrictions and at the time – May 2020 – these included a ban on people crossing the border from England.

The incident marked Kawczynski out as a fool because his nearest beach isn’t in Wales – it’s in the Wirral.

Then in December of 2020, he refused to make another Newsnight appearance for fear of “bullying” behaviour by presenter Emily Maitlis.

What a double-standard. He was happy to support the bully Priti Patel but changed his tune sharply when facing the prospect of being bullied himself.

And now this. And I haven’t even mentioned his other offences and alleged indiscretions.

Just to quote one example, in February 2020, he received a formal warning and reprimand from the Conservative Party – but did not have the whip withdrawn – after he shared a platform with right-wing populist politicians such as Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán and the former deputy prime minister of Italy Matteo Salvini.

He’s a serial offender. And his excuse for the latest was that he was drunk?

I should bleedin’ cocoa!

Source: Shrewsbury MP Daniel Kawczynski apologises for bullying over lockdown IT issues – BBC News

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Grenfell residents who raised safety fears before fire were bullied, inquiry hears

After the fire: Grenfell Tower.

Lawyers for victims of the Grenfell Tower fire have told the inquiry into the disaster that residents were “bullied” and “stigmatised” for raising safety concerns.

Michael Mansfield QC, representing a group of survivors and the bereaved, said Kensington and Chelsea Borough Council regarded the 24-storey block in North Kensington as an “eyesore which required cosmetic surgery to make it more palatable to its elegant and wealthy neighbours”.

So it provided a refurbishment between 2012 and 2016 that was only a “superficial facelift while neglecting underlying deficiencies”.

The council, along with the body that ran Grenfell Tower and oversaw the refurbishment, the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (TMO), ran a complaints system for residents that was “outdated, cumbersome, not simple and was used to shut them off, lock them out essentially”, said Mr Mansfield.

He said the council and TMO had a “culture of indifference”.

Edward Daffarn, a member of the Grenfell Action Group, wrote a series of blog posts about safety issues in the building and raised concerns with the council – such as a fire door with a broken closing mechanism.

This was pointed out in 2015 and the door still wasn’t working on the night of the fire in 2017, allowing smoke into a central area on one floor where two people died.

The inquiry heard the council described Mr Daffarn’s blog posts as “scaremongering”.

Another lawyer, Stephanie Barwise QC, read an email from council worker Laura Johnson, sent during the building’s refurbishment, saying that a councillor would not want to attend a public meeting of people “moaning about minor issues”.

In fact residents had correctly identified issues such as gas pipes in hallways, problems with fire doors, power surges, a failed ventilation system and access for fire engines.

London Fire Brigade warned in the months before the fire that cladding could be dangerous. The inquiry heard the council simply forwarded the letter from the fire brigade to the TMO, saying: “FYI.”

James Ageros, lawyer for the TMO, said: “The TMO does not accept that it ever adopted a dismissive attitude toward residents or indeed toward their complaints and concerns.”

He said the inquiry should consider whether the TMO could have been expected to see through the “deceptions” of cladding manufacturers about the safety of their products.

Hundreds of other building owners and management organisations had not been able to “untangle this subterfuge”, he said.

In its submissions, the council apologised for its failings in monitoring the TMO and said “the council could have, and should have, done more to stop it happening”.

It’s a big buck-passing exercise, isn’t it?

The council apologises and says it should have monitored the TMO; the TMO doesn’t apologise and says it could not have been expected to see through “deceptions” by the manufacturers of the cladding.

My opinion? Residents are right to blame them all. The council, at least, has admitted a failing. The TMO should have recognised any false claims by the cladding manufacturers; that’s part of its reason for existing and the council should have realised this wasn’t happening.

And residents were ignored – until they died.

And now, residents at other blocks with similar cladding are being penalised for living in places where the landlord made the wrong decision because the Tory government is ignoring their concerns.

History repeats itself. The UK is run by people who want to take your money and do nothing in return – especially people in government.

We can vote them out – for example at the local elections in May.

But that rarely seems to happen. Why?

Source: Grenfell residents ‘bullied’ for raising safety fears before fire – 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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Would Rachel Riley have been charged under incoming internet anti-bullying law?

Westminster: Parliament is to consider a new anti-bullying law under which Rachel Riley and her followers may well have been prosecuted. Instead, she has accused me of libel.

This information arrives too late to be included in my bid to beat Rachel Riley’s attempt to strike out my libel defence – but we can hope that the judge has seen it and knows it is coming.

According to the Telegraph, the Tory government’s new “Online Harms” law will include measures to imprison online bullies for a maximum of two years.

It states: “Online bullies and those who join internet ‘pile-ons’ could face up to two years in jail under a raft of seven new criminal ‘duty of care’ offences.

“Ministers are working with the Law Commission to create criminal offences that would allow police to prosecute people responsible for online communications that caused a victim ‘serious emotional distress’.

“It would cover emails, social media posts and WhatsApp messages and also pile-on harassment when a number of different individuals send threatening communications to a victim.

“Other offences being considered include incitement or encouragement of pile-on harassment, knowing participation in pile-on harassment and glorification of violence or of violent crime.”

Rachel Riley’s accusation of libel against me is based on her claim that she did not incite or encourage people who follow her Twitter account to dogpile (that’s the correct term for what the Telegraph describes as a “pile-on”) a vulnerable teenager.

The girl who received this unwanted attention suffers from anxiety issues and endured extreme distress as a result.

I wonder whether Riley would be able to escape prison if this law had been in effect in December 2018, when she started picking on that young lady?

As it is, I am still awaiting a judgment on her wafer-thin argument that my defence against her libel claim should be thrown out.

It is nearly a month since the hearing but my solicitor tells me that such delays are not unusual. It is possible that we will have our result on or after January 11, when the High Court’s Christmas vacation ends.

Whatever happens, I will need to fund my defence – and I desperately need help:

Consider making a donation yourself, if you can afford it, via the CrowdJustice page.

Email your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

On Twitter, tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

It seems clear that Riley could have been tried for a criminal offence if this planned law had been enacted a few years ago.

The fact that she is prosecuting me for pointing out her outrageous behaviour therefore seems even more of an atrocity.

But she is the darling of the media and she is extremely rich – and I am not. And money talks.

Please help me make sure she cannot buy justice – and make a mockery of a new law to protect the vulnerable before it has even had a chance to take effect.

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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Shrewsbury Tory Kawczynski is like the tell-tale at school – flings accusations around then runs like fun

Daniel Kawczynski: apparently he’s scared of being bullied by anyone. How did he get to be an MP?

What a strange creature Daniel Kawczynski is.

It seems he has refused a chance to appear on the BBC’s Newsnight because he is afraid that presenter Emily Maitlis will bully him.

Notice that Liam (above) points out that Kawczynski can’t recognise a bully when he’s working with one; Priti Patel was found to be a bully by a Cabinet Office inquiry but this is what he had to say about her when the allegations were made, in March:

It gets worse. After running away from Maitlis, cowardly Kawczynsi ran away from his own public – first by switching off replies to his tweet, so he wouldn’t have to field criticism, and then by deleting the tweet altogether:

Fat lot of good it did him. Look how many times it has been reproduced in this article alone!

Finally, it seems Kawczynski is an old hand when it comes to accusations against Newsnight:

It seems he only considered taking action, mind.

Kawczynski’s grudge against Newsnight and Maitlis goes back a long way – look it up with your favourite search engine.

He really does seem to have an axe to grind…

And absolutely no sense of judgement about where to swing 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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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

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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