Priti Patel denies she ‘screamed and swore’ at HO staff

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LONDON: Priti Patel has denied she “screamed and swore” at Home Office civil servants, just weeks after an official inquiry found evidence of her “shouting and swearing” at staff.

According to an Independent report, the home secretary was confronted with the allegation after a summary of a report by the prime minister’s standards adviser in November said her behaviour had amounted to bullying.

Priti Patel

Boris Johnson, who as prime minister is the ultimate arbiter of the civil service code, stood by the beleaguered cabinet minister and refused to sack her in a move that led to the resignation of the author of the report, Sir Alex Allan.

Asked on the BBC Radio 4’s Today programme if she had changed her behaviour since the publication of the report’s findings, she said: “I will repeat what I’ve said, and I have apologised for that.

“There were references to other things that were taking place within my organisation and there are many, many changes that are under way right now, and that applies not just to behaviour but the culture and various leadership within the organisation too. “I’ve made it quite clear that it’s across the board, it applies to everyone, including myself.”

Quizzed on whether those who alleged she screamed and swore at colleagues would think she had learned her lesson, Ms Patel replied: “Well, that’s not accurate for a start, but, as I’ve said, there are changes and that applies to myself as well.”

However, according the summary of the report by the prime minister’s former independent adviser Sir Alex, the Home Secretary had become “frustrated by the Home Office leadership’s lack of responsiveness and the lack of support she felt in DfiD three year ago”.