Allies defend Priti Patel over claims she bullied Home…

Priti Patel is not committed to the rule of law, says Home Office source

Allies back Priti Patel, who is accused of bullying at work

Ms Patel's allies have vehemently denied the bullying accusations and claimed the Home Secretary was the victim of "malicious gossip".

The latest anti-Priti story, who attempts to undermine the home secretary, comes in The Sunday Times, which reports, "MI5 chiefs "do not trust" Priti Patel with their secrets".

There were reportedly angry scenes at the top echelons of United Kingdom administration after she allegedly tried to oust her most senior civil servant, Sir Philip Rutnam after he raised concerns about her behaviour and the way she treats staff of her cabinet office.

Sir Philip and Ms Patel had "fundamental disagreements about the rule of law", according to a source quoted by the newspaper.

At a subsequent meeting, he collapsed and was rushed to a hospital, where he was found to have sodium deficiency.

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An official told The Sunday Times, "The spooks find her extremely hard to deal with".

A source told PA that staff were exhausted after working all night but dismissed claims the meeting was heated. The Stratford-on-Avon MP said he knew her for 25 years and described her as a "brilliant and collegiate team player".

But Nadhim Zahawi, a Business Minister, defended Patel saying she was "utterly professional" and "works day and night", The Sun newspaper report said.

"I've worked with Priti in the past on several campaigns".

"Civil servants working in the department are used to rising to these challenges", said the union's general secretary, Dave Penman.

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The 1980s' series, which had (and still has) a big following in the United Kingdom and probably a bigger one in India, shows how the permanent secretary at the fictional department of administrative affairs, Sir Humphrey Appleby (played by Nigel Hawthorne), is invariably able to run rings round his minister, Jim Hacker (Paul Eddington).

"Members in the Home Office are already working flat out, with our latest survey finding 70% within the department felt the working of excess hours is a problem, with the same amount stating they had worked whilst on sick leave in the a year ago".

Priti Patel tried to remove permanent secretary Sir Philip Rutnam from the role after they had a series of arguments, according to the Press Association.

"Putting undue pressure and demands on committed public servants that are already overstretched does not make for good government". "An "atmosphere of fear" is obviously not conducive to a successful workplace and anonymous briefings against civil servants who can not answer back are not only unfair to the individual, they corrode public trust in government".

A senior figure in the department said that Ms Patel was "reviled" for her "rudeness and insensitivity" when she was worldwide development secretary.

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A Home Office spokesman said: "We have not received any formal complaints and we take the welfare of our staff extremely seriously".

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