2020欧洲杯足球即时比分

Boris Johnson praises 'fantastic' Priti Patel as new allegation emerges

2020欧洲杯足球即时比分 Embattled Home Secretary now faces complaint about her behaviour four years ago

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Priti Patel
Priti Patel has been accused of authorising briefings against her former permanent secretary Sir Philip Rutnam Credit: AP

2020欧洲杯足球即时比分Boris Johnson praised Priti Patel as a "fantastic" Home Secretary on Saturday, as it emerged that a complaint was said to have been made about her conduct as a minister four years ago.

The Prime Minister moved to dispel speculation that Ms Patel could be ousted in the wake of the resignation of her most senior civil servant at the weekend, saying she had his "absolute confidence".

Sir Philip Rutnam quit as the Home Office's permanent secretary2020欧洲杯足球即时比分 after blaming Ms Patel for a briefing campaign against him, and on Sunday the BBC was told about a formal complaint that was made about her behaviour by a civil servant in another department she worked in.

Jonathan Powell, a former Downing Street chief of staff, predicted on Sunday that Ms Patel is "going to go" and that Mr Johnson might decide to "get rid" of her before the start of an employment tribunal that Sir Philip has said he will instigate.

Allies of Ms Patel, however, backed her to battle on and "get a grip" of the Home Office, where many civil servants retain loyalties to Sir Philip and might try to make life difficult for the Home Secretary.

Sir Philip's resignation on Saturday – which came after more than a week of reports about rows between him and Ms Patel – included an allegation that she had lied about her involvement in briefings against him.

2020欧洲杯足球即时比分Mr Powell, who worked for Tony Blair, suggested that "if civil servants go, then quite soon usually the Cabinet minister follows ... she's going to go, and usually in these circumstances the prime ministers are best advised to get rid of them soon rather than try to hold on and lose them later".

2020欧洲杯足球即时比分But Mr Johnson made it clear he had no intention of losing Ms Patel, saying: "I absolutely do have confidence in Priti Patel, I think she's a fantastic Home Secretary. It's never an easy job – it is one of the toughest jobs in government.

"There is a big big task ahead of us, we are delivering at last a new immigration system ... it will take a lot of work by the Home Office."

Boris Johnson backed his Home Secretary, Priti Patel Credit: Reuters

Briefings against Ms Patel continued on Sunday, with sources telling the BBC that a formal complaint about her conduct had been made when she was employment minister at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

2020欧洲杯足球即时比分The substance of it is not known – nor whether it was substantiated or followed up – but the complaint is said to have been made by one of six to eight civil servants working in her private office.

2020欧洲杯足球即时比分A spokesman for Ms Patel said she was "not aware" of the complaint, and the Government said it would not comment on personnel issues.

2020欧洲杯足球即时比分One Whitehall insider told the BBC Ms Patel had created a "hostile and unhappy" environment for civil servants at the DWP by questioning their capability and undermining their performance.

Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, said: "Priti is a very determined Home Secretary. She is probably closer to where the public are on the issues of law and order than any home secretary in recent history. I think she drives things forward."

Former Conservative Party leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith said: "This is a fight the Government has to win, otherwise all her colleagues will be dead in the water.

"There is still a group of civil servants who don't believe in Brexit and don't follow that there are things we can do now that we've left the EU. Civil servants need to know they are there to carry out the policy wishes of the Government."