Inquiry ‘found Priti Patel broke behaviour rules’

By Laura Kuenssberg
BBC political editor

Publishedduration1 hour agoimage copyrightReuters

A draft report concluded in the summer that Home Secretary Priti Patel had broken rules on ministers' behaviour, sources familiar with the contents say.

The Cabinet Office began an inquiry into her conduct after Sir Philip Rutnam, the most senior Home Office official, resigned in February.

Sir Philip – who is suing for unfair dismissal – alleged that staff felt Ms Patel "created fear" in the department.

Ms Patel has always strongly denied allegations of bullying.

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The report, carried out by the government's independent adviser on standards, Sir Alex Allan, has not been published.

But one source said it had concluded that the "home secretary had not met the requirements of the ministerial code to treat civil servants with consideration and respect".

They added that the investigation had found evidence of bullying, even if it had not been intentional.

Another source who saw the report called it "unambiguous in stating that Priti Patel broke the ministerial code and that the prime minister buried it".

A spokesman for the home secretary said she had always denied the allegations and that there had never been any formal complaints made against her.

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