UK: Johnson backs Priti Patel after inquiry declares him ‘bully’ – Times of India

LONDON: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson backed Friday Priti Patel, one of her top ministers, after a damning investigation into allegations of intimidation of her staff, found she had broken the rules, including shouting and cursing at them. Johnson’s defense of the Indian-born Home Secretary prompted the report’s author, independent adviser Alex Allan, to resign.
Patel had failed to meet the standards set by Britain’s ministerial code that ministers should treat officials with respect, Allan concluded. Ministers usually resign if they do not respect the code. However, a government statement said Johnson believed the code had not been violated, saying concerns were not raised at the time and that Patel was unaware of the impact of his actions. “The Prime Minister has full confidence in the Minister of the Interior and considers that this case is now closed,” he said.
Patel had been accused of humiliating her staff, which prompted Johnson to open an investigation in March to establish the facts. In a summary of her advice, Allan concluded that Patel had become “rightly in many cases” frustrated with the lack of support from her ministry, and this had “manifested itself in a forceful expression, including at the occasion for cries and oaths ”. “His approach on occasion has amounted to behavior that can best be described as bullying …” said Allan.
Patel thanked the Prime Minister for his support and said: “I am sorry that my behavior in the past has upset people. I admit that I have been frustrated at times.” Colleagues gathered around her, calling her nice. However, Keir Starmer, the leader of the Labor Party, said he would have fired her. Patel had to resign from her post as aid minister in 2017 because she held undisclosed meetings with Israeli officials.

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