HOME Secretary Priti Patel was forced to apologise after an investigation found she had breached the Ministerial Code by taking aim at “inflexible” Civil Servants whom she said were obstructing her agenda.
In a statement, Patel said:”I am sorry that my behaviour in the past has upset people. It has never been my intention to cause upset to anyone. I am very grateful for the hard work of thousands of civil servants who help to deliver the Government’s agenda.
‘I care deeply about delivering on the commitments we have made to the people of this country and I acknowledge that I am direct and have at times got frustrated.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson ruled that this was enough to save Patel’s job. However, his Ethics Advisor Sir Alex Allan, who headed the inquiry into Patel, felt differently and sensationally quit his post.
Allan recognised that it was the Prime Ministers’ prerogative to make a final decision on whether a breach in the code should lead to dismissal and that Ms Patel’s comments caused “unintentional” upset but nonetheless felt he had to leave his post.
Tory MPs were reportedly instructed via their Whats App group to ‘form a circle’ round Patel and defend her. Labour, however, called for her dismissal, Sir Keir Starmer said he would have dismissed Patel and cited it as another example of Mr Johnson’s leadership “being found wanting”.