Can bullying ever be unintentional?

Even the calmest of heads isn’t immune to the odd sharp word.

by Stephen Jones

The exact context of Priti Patel’s conduct towards those under her command is not known, but it doesn’t sound great. 

In March Philip Rutnam resigned from his position as Home Office permanent secretary and launched an employment tribunal against Patel, accusing the home secretary of a “vicious” campaign of bullying after he highlighted her “belittling” behaviour towards department staff. 

A Cabinet Office Inquiry formed to investigate Patel’s conduct has found that the Home Secretary broke ministerial code in how she treated Rutnam, his colleagues and mandarins at the Department for Work and Pensions and Patel’s private office at the Department for International Development.

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