Boris Johnson criticised after ‘no place for bullying’ claim

Boris Johnson has been criticised for claiming there is “no place for bullying” in the wake of the Priti Patel report.

Boris Johnson has been criticised for claiming there is “no place for bullying” after the Priti Patel investigation

The Prime Minister has been accused of double standards following the damning investigation into the home secretary.

Despite an inquiry finding Ms Patel had shouted and sworn at officials, the PM insisted she had his full support.

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His adviser on ministerial standards Sir Alex Allan quit his post after Johnson contradicted his scathing report into Ms Patel’s actions.

Now Mr Johnson has along with cabinet secretary, Simon Case written a joint email calling for “mutual trust and respect between politicians and their officials”.

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He said: “Together with the cabinet secretary, I have this morning written to all ministers and permanent secretaries. This letter sets out the paramount importance of relationships of mutual trust and respect between politicians and their officials.

“This includes keeping internal conversations private, feeling able to speak freely and honestly about matters of state and to speak constructively about things that are not working so that we can fix them together promptly.

“I am clear that there is a particular duty on ministers and permanent secretaries to create jointly across government a culture which is professional, respectful, focused and ambitious for change and in which there is no place for bullying.

“The cabinet secretary and I are enormously grateful to civil servants for the commitment they have shown as we navigate through these challenging times.”

The head of the FDA union that represents senior civil servants, Dave Penman, claimed actions mattered, not words.

He said: “In August 2019 he set out, in precise terms in the foreword to the ministerial code, that ‘there must be no bullying and no harassment.

“In the first test of his commitment to these words, he has transparently chosen partisan political interest over the interests of the victims of the home secretary’s behaviour as well as the broader standards that should rightly be expected of ministers.

“If the prime minister was serious about his commitment to these standards, he would introduce an independent and transparent process for dealing with these complaints, that was free from the political interference he has so blatantly shown in regard to the home secretary.”

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