Boris Johnson: I take no lessons on bullying from Jeremy Corbyn

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn have clashed in fiery PMQs debate over bullying as the Labour leader called for an independent inquiry into the conduct of Priti Patel.

The Home Secretary has faced a series of allegations of bullying and harassment of government staff across three departments, with one top civil servant dramatically resigning.

Mr Johnson confirmed that a Cabinet Office probe was taking place, telling MPs: “Of course it's right that there should be an investigation into any allegations of bullying.”

Mr Corbyn argued that if the claims against Ms Patel prove to be true, they suggest a “shocking and unacceptable pattern of behaviour”.

He pushed the Prime Minister to launch an independent investigation, separate from the one being conducted by the Cabinet Office.

“A government cannot be judge and jury over its own conduct, there has to be an independent element to that investigation,” he told the Commons.

Mr Corbyn went on to claim that “tens of thousands of pounds of hard-earned taxpayers money has been spaffed up the wall” to buy the silence of accusers.

But Mr Johnson defended his colleague and said he had “every confidence” in Ms Patel, who was doing “an outstanding job”.

He went on to lambast the Labour Party’s track record on bullying, saying he would “take no lessons” from Mr Corbyn on the subject.

He fired across the despatch box: “I take no lessons about bullying from the leader of a party where female MPs were bullied so badly on the matter of antisemitism they actually left the party and where the shadow chancellor has still not apologised for his call for a member of our party to be lynched.” 

Read more

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