Bullying claims: Dozens of supporters defend 'tough, assertive' Priti Patel

6 March 2020, 08:51

An investigation has been launched into the allegations against Mrs Patel
An investigation has been launched into the allegations against Mrs Patel. Picture: PA
Rachael Kennedy

By Rachael Kennedy

Priti Patel has been described as a "tough" and "assertive" leader in a letter signed by more than 90 people who have come to her defence after recent bullying claims.

The letter, sent to the Daily Telegraph on Friday, said the home secretary "never crossed the line or lost her temper" in her conduct and that she was "right to ask tough questions".

It said: "We do not recognise the picture that has been painted of her this week.

"There's no argument that she is a tough, assertive and effective leader, but even under extreme pressure she has never crossed the line or lost her temper.

READ MORE: Investigation launched into Priti Patel bullying allegations

"She expects high standards, as a strong leader should, but is always professional.

"She gives her all for this country and deserves far better than the treatment she has received."

Among the high-profile signatories was the former charity commission head William Shawcross and Conservative political strategist Sir Lynton Crosby.

Lords Rami, Suri and Leigh were also on the list.

READ MORE: Priti Patel facing bullying allegations from third government department

The release of the letter defending Mrs Patel's character came just days after an investigation was launched into whether her conduct had broken ministerial code.

She is accused of bullying staff in three different government departments, with one aide reportedly receiving a £25,000 payout following a specific claim.

The revelations prompted the resignation over the weekend of the Home Office's top official, Sir Philip Rutman, who also accused Mrs Patel of bullying subordinates.

Meanwhile, a spokesman has said the home secretary "categorically denies all of these allegations".