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Councillor’s anger over Sir John’s support for Priti Patel in bullying row

Priti Patel
Priti Patel has been backed by Sir John Redwood Pictures: Richard Townshend / Tony Johnson

A WOKINGHAM MP’s support for home secretary Priti Patel has been criticised by a borough councillor. 

On Friday evening, Sir John Redwood joined other MPs in sharing messages on social media following news that the home secretary had breached the ministerial code following allegations of bullying in the three government departments in which she had served. 

The person who produced the report, Alex Allan, resigned as the Prime Minister’s chief advisor on the ministerial code after Boris Johnson rejected the findings of the inquiry and stated that he had “full confidence” in Patel.

The decision has caused concerns, not least as the report into Ms Patel’s conduct was made public hours after education secretary Gavin Williamson had given his support to the Anti-Bullying Week. 

In his tweet, Sir John said: “Well done the PM. Back your Home Secretary. Help her cut through to take control of our borders and battle crime. Why hasn’t the Home Office done more to stop people trafficking across the Channel as the Home  Secretary wishes?”

Responding, Cllr Clive Jones, who is deputy leader of the Lib Dems group on Wokingham Borough Council, said he was astonished by Sir John’s support. 

“Sir John’s fulsome support for Mr Johnson and Ms Patel was delivered during Anti-bullying Week,” he said. 

“Many residents will be horrified by the behaviour of these Cabinet Ministers and by Sir John’s comments.

“In former times such a verdict would normally result in a ministerial resignation or sacking. However, the Prime Minister defended Ms Patel’s behaviour, astonishing to many MPs – but not Sir John.”

He continued: “The Wokingham MP instead robustly supported Mr Johnson’s actions, both on LBC Radio and on his own Twitter account. 

“If the Liberal Democrats were running Wokingham Borough Council we would show zero tolerance to this kind of bullying behaviour.”

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