"Priti Patel thinks she's above the rules": MP Jess Phillips on bullying allegations

3 March 2020, 20:58 | Updated: 4 March 2020, 09:22

MP Jess Phillips told Iain Dale that the Home Secretary thinks she can "do what she likes."

Sir Philip Rutnam dramatically announced at the weekend that he was standing down as permanent secretary, after accusing Ms Patel of bullying her subordinates and creating a climate of fear in her department.

Labour MP Jess Phillips said she hoped the Cabinet would do a full and rigorous investigation into these claims.

"What I really hope is civil servants who have worked in different ministries that Priti Patel has been a minister or a secretary of state in, are allowed to give evidence without fear or favour into her behaviour," she said.

"I have to say I suspect because of the litany of mistakes by Priti Patel in the past, she's already been sacked from being the secretary of state once before... so there's a clear lack of judgement.

"What I think seems to have happened is she thinks she's above the rules and we've got evidence from the work and pension coming forward, we know about her misdemeanours when she was international development and now the permanent secretary at the Home Office is pointing the finger as well," Ms Phillips said.

"It seems to me as my nan would say she's got a bit of a bob on herself and thinks she can do what she likes."

Boris Johnson has expressed his full confidence in Ms Patel, who he promoted to one of the great offices of state after she had previously been sacked from the Cabinet by Theresa May.

Ms Patel has denied the allegations.