Tag Archives: bully

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.

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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

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Thugs who don’t understand the rules are terrorising people over face masks

A face mask: these are mandatory in enclosed spaces in England – but some people are exempt from the rule and anybody trying to bully those people needs to be shown the error of their ways.

Look at this: a woman has received abuse for not wearing a mask while out in England – even though she is exempt.

The problem isn’t just that the abusers don’t understand the rules.

It’s that they don’t care.

They’re using Covid-19 restrictions to bully people – especially disabled people and their carers.

That’s the result of 10 years of unremitting government anti-disablist propaganda.

So not only do they think it is okay to abuse Louise Sharp, of Whitley Bay, for not wearing a mask when she needs to have her face clear to communicate with her autistic daughter; they think they are encouraged to do so.

Ms Sharp ended up having a panic attack and now she simply doesn’t have the confidence to go out.

That’s because of these abusers.

They don’t have the right to question her; it’s none of their business.

Shop staff do, along with others in authority in enclosed spaces – as long as they do it in a polite way that doesn’t assume wrongdoing.

And everyone needs to be aware that some people are exempt from wearing masks, and who those exemptions cover. In England, they are:

 

  • Children under the age of 11.
  • Those unable to put on or wear a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or disability.
  • People for whom wearing or removing a face covering will cause severe distress.
  • Anyone assisting someone who relies on lip reading to communicate.

 

This Writer is unlikely to be accosted by such bullies; if I were to go to places where the mask rule is in effect, I would wear one.

But if I saw someone being – call it what it is – attacked in that way, rest assured I would not walk by and let it happen.

I hope Vox Political readers everywhere would do the same.

Source: Whitley Bay mask-exempt woman urges ‘more understanding’ – BBC News

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Survey shows there IS a culture of bullying in Priti Patel’s Home Office

The bully: and it seems Priti Patel is presiding over a culture of bullying in the Home Office.

It’s official, then: Priti Patel presides over a culture of bullying and intimidation at the Home Office.

The issue came to public attention when Sir Philip Rutnam resigned as Permanent Secretary for the HO, saying he would be taking Ms Patel to court for constructive dismissal.

He said there had been a “vicious and orchestrated” plot against him, and that he was offered a bribe to stop him from launching court action, in what we must conclude was an attempt to keep it from becoming a matter of public knowledge.

Now we find that the former Permanent Secretary’s situation was not a unique, solitary aberration; a survey of Home Office employees shows that thousands of them have suffered similarly:

The Home Office people survey… results show 16% of respondents claimed they had been discriminated against at work in the past 12 months, roughly equating to 3,375 individuals.

And 14% said they had been bullied or harassed at work in the same period, roughly equal to 2,950 employees.

Of those who claimed they had been bullied, 1,444 said the nature of bullying was “negative micromanagement eg excessive control; made to feel incompetent”, while 1,242 respondents said they had been “humiliated in front of team or others”.

This is the accusation that was levelled against Ms Patel, of course.

The rot comes from the top; Ms Patel presides over a culture of intimidation – and in the meantime she has been falsely assuming credit for measures to restrict the spread of coronavirus.

She has to go.

Source: Survey of thousands of Home Office staff revives bullying row | Home Office | The Guardian

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