Iain Duncan Smith: Priti Patel didn't just erupt, civil servants didn't do their jobs

21 November 2020, 12:37

By Seán Hickey

The former leader of the Conservatives hinted that Priti Patel 'couldn't get the job done' with unwilling civil servants, and that led to frustration on her part.

Sir Iain Duncan Smith defended Priti Patel, following a report which implicated her as bullying civil servants in the Home Office.

"This investigation involved not one department, but three departments, so the accusation is there was a pattern of behaviour from Priti Patel," Matt Frei argued.

Sir Iain noted that "the allegations about the department of work and pensions turned out to be false," which means that only reports from two departments can be considered, not three.

He argued that the report not only confirms the Home Secretary was a bully, but it also "references the poor behaviour in the department," when it came to work ethic.

Sir Iain reminded Matt that Ms Patel "has apologised quite rightly," but we cannot forget that senior civil servants have been shown as reluctant to work.

Read More: Ex-Civil Service boss says PM is choosing to 'bend the rules' to suit Priti Patel

The Home Secretary has come under fire following reports accusing her of bullying
The Home Secretary has come under fire following reports accusing her of bullying. Picture: PA

"There are very very significant balancing requirements to make note of here," he added, "which were that senior civil servants did not do their jobs."

The former Tory leader insisted that "she didn't just erupt, there were problems that were forcing her to the point where she simply couldn't get the job done." He told Matt that this mustn't be ignored.

"Nobody comes out of this brilliantly."

Sir Iain didn't hold back in his criticism of some senior civil servants, telling Matt that "this is a real question mark of the civil service."

"They've got to be prepared to have people in there that get the job done, not people that get there because they went to the right university."