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UK bullying row: PM stands by home secy Priti Patel

London: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson expressed “full confidence” in home secretary Priti Patel after an inquiry into her alleged bullying behavior with civil servants concluded that she did behave in a way that amounted to bullying.

Alex Allan, the UK government’s standards adviser, resigned soon after Johnson stood by Patel, prompting another political row, days after Downing Street witnessed the resignations of two top advisers that were seen as the prime minister resetting his office.

Patel, who has faced such allegations while working in the home office and other departments, apologized for her behavior that the adviser said amounted to breaching the ministerial code of conduct. Several Conservative MPs lent her support.

Labour leader Keir Starmer said, “Yet again, the prime minister has been found wanting when his leadership has been tested. If I were prime minister, the home secretary would have been removed from her job.

“It is hard to imagine another workplace in the UK where this behavior would be condoned by those at the top. The government should be setting an example. Instead, it is one rule for Boris Johnson and his friends, another for everyone else.”

Breaching ministerial code usually leads to a minister resigning. Patel had been asked to resign by former PM Theresa May in 2017 for holding unauthorized official meetings during a holiday when she was the international development secretary. (Hindustan Times)

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