The head of the British Government, Boris Johnson, resists an avalanche of criticism for his unconditional defense of a minister who verbally abused officials under his charge. Ministerial Ethics Advisor Sir Alex Allan, who oversaw an investigation into the allegations, concluded that Interior Minister Priti Patel broke the official code with an abusive tendency to yell and insult staff who “can be described as bullying” .
The conservative president ignored the expert’s verdict, concluded that Patel has not committed “intentionally” any fault and turned his confidence in the most eurosceptic member of his cabinet. Allan resigned from his position and the Committee on Standards in Public Activity decided to open an investigation into the case. “It is unacceptable. ‘bullies’ (abusers) should not be allowed in the government, ”the former head of the Interior, Sir David Normington, denounced yesterday to the BBC.
Violate the ministerial code usually leads to the resignation of the politician. Patel herself lost her government post in 2017 by breaking the rule on private meetings with foreign officials, but this time she has saved her portfolio without receiving a reprimand from her boss.
The prime minister is the “arbiter” of ministerial standards of conduct, as Downing Street justifies. But there are no known precedents for the course followed by Johnson, who commissioned his adviser to investigate allegations against Patel for abusive behavior and ignored the independent conclusion of a report, which he refuses to publish. Several media yesterday accused the ‘premier’ of pressing in vain for Allan to “soften” and “make more digestible” his resolution.
Patel is in favor of an extreme Brexit and admired in the rank and file of the party. He manages the new immigration law and has angered legal experts with disparaging comments from lawyers representing asylum seekers and those acting in cases of deportation of long-lived foreigners in England.