British Home Secretary Priti Patel has been accused of bullying staff in her department. The ex-beauty-queen-turned-politician is said to have made [unreasonable demands on the civil servants who work for the Home Office, such as “Could you get the prime minister on line 2, please” and “Please, will you deliver my red boxes to my London flat, as I’m on my way to the gym.”
Top mandarins like Sir Philip Rutnam, the Permanent Secretary to the Home Office, who have jobs for life with final salary pensions, cannot be removed, are immune to criticism under Westminster’s Golden Rule that “When the Civil Service Fucks Up, the Government Minister must Take the Fall”, and automatically get knighthoods after one year, are said to be terrified of the diminutive Priti.
One civil servant said, with the air of an actor/actress speaking his/her words “Once, during the Extinction Rebellion marches in London, about half a dozen activists were allegedly committing some sort of really, really minor misdemeanour. Mrs Patel wanted us to sign a draconian order giving the police the power to arrest them so that the overpaid businessmen and women could get to work on time. I had no problem with that, except that she wanted it to be done the same day. I tried telling her that I was having a glass of wine, after which I would be spending an hour on Facebook posting anonymous criticism about her, then going home early, but she was quite persistent. That’s when I had a nervous breakdown.”
However, Mrs Patel has received support from an unusual source. Labour bigwig, Diane Abbott, tweeted that “there’s no way someone as small as Priti Patel could bully someone as important as Sir Philip." However, the tweet was removed when Abbott discovered that Priti is a Tory Minister. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn wrote to the prime minister recommending Mrs Patel for a peerage.