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Boris Johnson is set to axe Priti Patel as home secretary in his next reshuffle amid questions in Downing Street over her “competence”

(15 Posts)
Blossoming Sun 22-Nov-20 14:14:06

From today’s Sunday Times:

Boris Johnson is set to axe Priti Patel as home secretary in his next reshuffle amid questions in Downing Street over her “competence” — as it emerged that a report into her conduct found that she told civil servants they were “f***ing useless”.
The prime minister circled the wagons to protect Patel last week, rejecting an official finding that she had bullied officials and broken the ministerial code of conduct.
But multiple sources say he has had conversations about replacing her as home secretary when he recasts his cabinet in the New Year.
Kit Malthouse, the policing minister who was Johnson’s deputy mayor for policing in London and is a confidant of the PM, is favourite to take over the job, with Michael Gove and Dominic Raab also in the frame. Patel, 48, who is popular with the Tory grassroots, is tipped to be made party chairwoman.
Details of Johnson’s thinking emerged as those who have read the report into her conduct say it recounts multiple examples of “shouting, screaming and swearing”.
“She kept telling civil servants they were f***ing useless,” a source said. “She would storm out of her office and say: ‘Why is everyone so f***ing useless?’ She would tell officials their work was f***ing useless?”
Despite telling MPs last week to “form a square around the Prittster”, insiders say the prime minister has tired of Patel’s repeated failure to get a grip on the flow of asylum seekers across the Channel.
“The view of the political operation in No 10 was always that she should be protected,” a senior Tory said. “But there is also a view that she should be reshuffled on competence grounds. There is continual frustration that the Home Office has not got a grip on things, the small boats in particular.”

The insider said Johnson was “impressed” by Malthouse’s grasp of policy and others say he has acted as a personal support to Johnson since he fell ill with the virus in April.
“Kit sees him to talk policy but they end up sitting in the garden putting the world to rights,” one friend said.
A second official described Patel as “ineffective” and said it would be “sensible” to move her to another post.
Patel’s camp did not deny that she used the words “f***ing useless” but insisted her comments were never directed “at individuals”.
“People in real life do not carry on as if everything is like an Enid Blyton novel and sometimes things go wrong and people say things out of frustration that they would not say to their mother,” said an ally of the home secretary.
Patel has told friends she has never suffered so much sexism and racism as she did in the Home Office, where she clashed with mandarins over borders. “Priti has worked in the private sector in FTSE 100 companies but the racism and misogyny she has endured at the Home Office has been the worst of her career,” said one friend.

lemongrove Sun 22-Nov-20 15:38:07

😃I said she would probably go in the Jan re-shuffle just a couple of days ago ( on the other thread).

M0nica Sun 22-Nov-20 15:44:20

Bit like Dominic Cummings isn't it? Support them when the flak hits the fan and sack them a few months later.

growstuff Sun 22-Nov-20 16:19:19

I'm a tad baffled.

Since 2010, there have been two female Home Secretaries and one from an Asian background. Did they suffer racism or misogyny too?

If Patel was indeed suffering racism so badly, why did she respond as she did to Florence Eshalomi in the HoC? I would have expected her to show more understanding of the issues surrounding racism.

Both Patel and Kemi Badenoch, the Equalities Minister, have dismissed claims of structural racism, yet both have claimed to have experienced it personally (when it suits them).

M0nica Sun 22-Nov-20 17:09:04

The problem is words like 'sexism', 'racism' cover such a huge range, from the odd silly remark to physical attack and gross verbal and written abuse.

As a woman, working in a very male world. I got the odd stupidity; being asked to do photocopying or take dictation by managers who did not know me or what position I held and just assumed all women were in clerical grades. I simply refused to do these jobs and suggested they ask their secretary to do it. There were other occasions when thoughtless remarks were made, but very little else. Even today, I would possibly say something to the miscreant, but not go off in high dudgeon and report them. Then there are things that need to be followed up to different levels depending on the situation.

However, in any situation there will always be a tiny minority who will make the most of ever opportunity to cry racism/sexism, especially if they have a weak case

Baggs Sun 22-Nov-20 17:58:31

Has Priti Patel claimed she has suffered from structural racism at the Home Office, gs? I thought she hadn't.

I suspect that what she had to deal with was passive aggression from civil servants who didn't want, or found it too difficult, to do what she told them to do.

Trisha57 Sun 22-Nov-20 18:10:00

Well I'll just say that I'm looking forward to seeing the back of her and am glad that Kit is in the running. A true gentleman and such a phenomenal grasp of politics.

suziewoozie Sun 22-Nov-20 19:07:31

It wasn’t just the HO was it where these accusations were made- and May sacked her for breaching the code whilst she was at IDD. There’s only one reason she’s in the cabinet and that’s because it suited BJ to have her as one of his nodding donkey Brexiteers. Whether she gives or stays is irrelevant - Johnson is incapable of leadership and basically we’re all stuffed.

suziewoozie Sun 22-Nov-20 19:08:04

Goes or stays

growstuff Sun 22-Nov-20 19:21:33

Baggs

Has Priti Patel claimed she has suffered from structural racism at the Home Office, gs? I thought she hadn't.

I suspect that what she had to deal with was passive aggression from civil servants who didn't want, or found it too difficult, to do what she told them to do.

I don't know.

I haven't investigated any media reports in detail today, but you know what they're like. It's all about leaks and unnamed sources.

I'm sure that civil servants pointed out to her what was legal and realistic, which she might not always have liked. It still doesn't excuse her calling them "f*cking useless". It might be helpful if the actual report were released, because many of the comments are based on a partial reading and assumptions.

EllanVannin Sun 22-Nov-20 20:11:39

No racism involved, just good old-fashioned non-PC for a change.

Urmstongran Sun 22-Nov-20 20:37:02

I think after 31st December many Remainers will be invited back into the Cabinet as they can’t thwart Brexit by then.

lemongrove Sun 22-Nov-20 21:05:40

I think you're probably right Urmston😀

suziewoozie Sun 22-Nov-20 22:43:11

She’s the darling of many of the Tory backbenchers. She may we safer than some of us wish or expect

Whitewavemark2 Mon 23-Nov-20 06:32:39

And of Israel.