Union loses case against Boris Johnson in Priti Patel bullying case

The cabinet secretary’s treatment of staff has come under close scrutiny after a top civil servant who worked with her resigned (Image: PA)

Boris Johnson and Priti Patel survived ah Supreme Court challenge allegations of bullying.

The internal secretary was found to have ‘unintentionally’ broken ministerial rules through her behavior towards staff last year.

An investigation by the Cabinet Office has been launched after the resignation of Sir Philip Rutnam, the permanent secretary of the ministry.

He sued the Home Office for unfair dismissal and alleges that staff felt Ms Patel ‘created fear’ within the department, allegations she staunchly denied.

The report found that she had ‘infrequently met the high standards that she expected’ and her approach ‘at times… led to behavior that could be described as bullying in terms of its severity. influence’.

Sir Alex Allan, ministerial adviser on standards, resigned when Mr Johnson decided to keep her in place despite the findings.

She was sometimes found to have ‘accidentally breached’ the code but was pardoned to take responsibility for an outright breach.

Prit Patel remains in place despite a critical report of her own behavior (Image: AP)

The Prime Minister is reported to have told colleagues to ‘form a square around The Prittster’ following the report.

A union representing senior civil servants sued to protest the prime minister’s decision to endorse her but the Supreme Court dismissed the bid.

At a hearing last month, FDA lawyers said Mr Johnson had ‘misunderstood’ the term ‘bullying’ and accused him of ‘walking the wrong way’ in making his decision.

The prime minister’s lawyers argued that the FDA’s request had ‘no legal basis’ and ‘no fault of law’.

They said the Ministerial Code ‘does not create or impose any legal duties on ministers or the Prime Minister’, is ‘not required by law’ and its content ‘is not regulated by law. correction’.

The code is a ‘political document’ and is ‘not intended to protect the rights of civil servants’, who still have access ‘to all the rights of the employment law’, his lawyer said.

Despite rumors that she will be moved out in a reshuffle, Priti Patel remains one of Boris Johnson’s most trusted cabinet allies (Image: PA)

Lord Justice Lewis concluded in a Supreme Court ruling on Monday that Boris Johnson had not misdirected himself about the provisions of the Ministerial Code in making his decision.

The judge, sitting with Mrs Justice Steyn, said: ‘The question for this court is whether the Prime Minister would proceed on the basis that conduct would not fall within the description of bullying in paragraph 1.2 of the Code. Minister or not if the litigant was unaware of, or had no intention of, the harm or offense caused.

‘Read the full statement (issued by Mr Johnson) and given the context, we don’t think the prime minister misdirected himself in that way.’

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Huynh Nguyen

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