James Brokenshire defends Priti Patel amid bullying allegations

Monday, February 24, 2020

Security minister James Brokenshire has defended the Home Secretary amid claims of bullying and distrust at the Home Office.

Priti Patel is said to “absolutely livid” over a string of recent allegations and has reportedly demanded an inquiry into the “false” leaks.

She has been accused of creating an “atmosphere of fear” in her department and there have also been claims that MI5 chiefs have limited intelligence sharing with the frontbencher because they do not trust her.

But Mr Brokenshire told talkRADIO that “false stories” had been circulating and that Ms Patel was “absolutely resolute” on delivering the government’s agenda.

WATCH: Former adviser to Priti Patel says she is not a bully

“I’ve worked in the Home Office over a number of years, yes it is a tough and challenging place to work where, as ministers, you do have to be really vigilant and really press the case on a number of issues because that’s what the public would expect of us,” he told Julia Hartley-Brewer.

The MP for Old Bexley and Sidcup continued: “But equally, I know that we have a really strong, a very diligent, a very focused team of civil servants who I have always had that sense of respect for, acknowledgement for and that sense of how we work together as a team.

“There will always be those tensions that are there but ultimately, both as a team and as ministers our duty and focus is on the public.”

And one of Ms Patel’s former advisers echoed these words – James Starkie described his ex-boss as “one of the best people I’ve ever worked for”.

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