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Tuesday 06 October 2020

Patel investigation: Penman writes to PM over delays

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FDA General Secretary Dave Penman has written to the Prime Minister regarding the delays in concluding the investigation into allegations of bullying against the Home Secretary Priti Patel, launched on 2 March this year.

In the letter, which can be read in full below, Penman reiterated the FDA's serious concerns about the independence of the investigation after both the Prime Minister and the Minister for the Cabinet Office, Michael Gove, gave Patel their full support when referring to the investigation in the House of Commons earlier in the year.

Penman wrote: "In launching the investigation, the Chancellor for the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office also said: 'It is vital that this investigation is concluded as quickly as possible in the interests of everyone involved, so that we can concentrate on ensuring that no justice is delayed, and no justice is denied.' Seven months on, it will be hard to reach any conclusion other than that justice has already been denied and that the continued delay to the process is driven solely by political considerations."

Penman went on to ask the Prime Minister to make a determination on the investigation urgently, or at least commit to a full timetable for its conclusion, and then to publish a summary of the investigation at the same point the decision is made public. He also called once again for a fully transparent and independent process to deal with future bullying and harassment complaints against ministers.

As reported in the Guardian on 2 October, Penman urged the Prime Minister “to recognise the long-term damage that is being done to the relationship between ministers and civil servants by these delays and address these issues as a matter of urgency.”

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