A dozen officials in the Home Office department have been fired in the past two years for “bullying, harassment, discrimination or offensive
behaviour”, a Mirror investigation has revealed.
Three members of staff were sacked in 2019 and a further nine more in 2018, a freedom of information request has disclosed.
Another 12 employees faced “formal action” in 2018, with seven last year.
The figures have been revealed as Boris Johnson judged the ministerial code was not breached by Priti Patel amid allegations of bullying despite an inquiry into her conduct finding she had “not consistently met the high standards expected of her”.
The Prime Minister’s adviser on ministerial standards, Sir Alex Allan, resigned in response to Mr Johnson’s decision to keep Ms Patel as Home Secretary.
A Government statement said Mr Johnson has “full confidence” in Ms Patel and “considers this matter now closed”.
But the PM’s refusal to accept the judgment against a close ally has been slated.
Shadow Business Minister Lucy Powell told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday show: “If you are found of breaking the ministerial code, your position is completely untenable.
“I think it’s appalling the Prime Minister has decided to back her instead of sacking her.”
Shouting and swearing
Sir Alex concluded Ms Patel’s behaviour – which was said to include some occasions of shouting and swearing – met the definition of bullying adopted by the civil service.
In his advice, he said: “The definition of bullying adopted by the Civil Service accepts that legitimate, reasonable and constructive criticism of a worker’s performance will not amount to bullying.
“It defines bullying as intimidating or insulting behaviour that makes an individual feel uncomfortable, frightened, less respected or put down. Instances of the behaviour reported to the Cabinet Office would meet such a definition.”
He said his advice was that Ms Patel has “not consistently met the high standards required by the ministerial code of treating her civil servants with consideration and respect”.
He added: “Her approach on occasions has amounted to behaviour that can be described as bullying in terms of the impact felt by individuals. To that extent her behaviour has been in breach of the ministerial code, even if unintentionally.”