The Shadow Home Secretary defended John Bercow last month after he was accused of bullying behavior by former Back Rod David Leakey. Ms Abbott had tweeted in response to the bullying allegations that David Leakey could not have been been bullied or intimidated by the former Speaker as “he had been a Lieutenant General who served in Germany, Northern Ireland and Bosnia “. Mr Bercow denied all allegations against him and branded them “total and utter rubbish”. , however, as Ms Abbott called on Home Secretary Priti Patel , who faces similar allegations against her by former permanent secretary Sir Philip Rutnam, to step down, BBC host Nick Robinson confronted the Labor frontbencher.
He said: “One thing people say is the Labor Party is not always against bullying like when John Bercow was facing very serious bullying allegations – and yet your leader Jeremy Corbyn is insisting on proceeding with the recommendation that he moves into the House of Lords.
“Women, Jewish MPs were bullied out of the Labor Party and the leadership did very little to protect them at the time.
“Are you really just against this because it’s a radical Tory in the Home Office and you don’t like it? ”
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Priti Patel denies allegations of bullying made by Sir Philip Rutnam (Image: GETTY)
The Labor frontbencher replied: “You have to remember that with John Bercow there are about a dozen people in office that he manages directly, he can’t hire and fire anybody else.
“But with Priti Patel, and I know this as a former civil servant, the careers of the civil servants around her rest in her hands.
“This is a major department, this is a serious allegation. You cannot have a minister who is in breach of the ministerial code.
“She should step down now.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has asked the Cabinet Office to “establish the facts” following allegations that Home Secretary Priti Patel has breached the ministerial code.
Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove confirmed the action being taken following an urgent question from Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn.
He addressed the Commons after Sir Philip Rutnam quit as permanent secretary of the Home Office after rows with Ms Patel, with allegations of bullying levelled against the Home Secretary.
Mr Gove told MPs: “Allegations have been made that the Home Secretary has breached the ministerial code. The Home Secretary absolutely rejects these allegations.
“The Prime Minister has expressed his full confidence in her, and having wor ked closely with the Home Secretary over a number of years, I have the highest regard for her, she is a superb minister doing a great job.
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John Bercow was accused of bullying behavior by former Black Rod David Leakey (Image: GETTY) This Government always takes any. Complaints relating to the ministerial code seriously, and in line with the process set out in the ministerial code the Prime Minister has asked the Cabinet Office to establish the facts.
“As is usual, the independent adviser on ministerial interests, Sir Alex Allan, is available to provide advice to the Prime Minister.”
Mr Gove said the Government would not comment on an individual matter, in line with its long-standing policy, before praising the Home Office ministers and civil servants.
Sir Philip, , quit as the Home Office’s permanent secretary on Saturday following a string of clashes with Miss Patel.
Threatening legal action against the Government for constructive dismissal, he accused her of orchestrating a “vicious” campaign of briefings against him and accused her of bullying.
Priti Patel denies all allegations against her.
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