Labour leads calls for Priti Patel to resign

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Home Secretary Priti Patel faces calls for her to resign following a fall-out at the top of the Home Office.

Philip Rutnam, the department’s most senior civil servant, quit on Saturday after accusing Patel of orchestrating a “vicious” campaign against him, of lying about her involvement in it and of creating a climate of fear among her officials.

Labour has ramped up the pressure on the under-fire home secretary, with shadow chancellor John McDonnell suggesting she could be forced to resign.

McDonnell, when asked if Patel could stay in her post, told Sky NewsSophy Ridge on Sunday: “I can’t see it, it’s bizarre.”

He added: “One of the ways the prime minister could go forward is to have an independent investigation but during that period you’d have to suspend the home secretary whilst that went on.”

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Labour leadership candidate Keir Starmer also called on Patel to explain to MPs the explosive allegations levelled against her by Rutnam.

Starmer said: “The home secretary has a duty to come to parliament on Monday to explain the allegations made about her own conduct.”

The shadow Brexit secretary called for cabinet secretary Mark Sedwill to start “an immediate investigation” into the circumstances surrounding Rutnam’s departure.

In his statement on Saturday, Rutnam said the campaign against him included “false” claims that he had briefed the media against the home secretary.

He said: “The home secretary categorically denied any involvement in this campaign to the Cabinet Office.

“I regret I do not believe her. She has not made the effort I would expect to dissociate herself from the comments.

“I believe these events give me very strong grounds to claim constructive, unfair dismissal and I will be pursuing that claim in the courts.”

 

Meanwhile, health secretary, Matt Hancock defended Patel on the BBC’s Andrew Marr programme:

And Conservative ally Nusrat Ghani MP, who was sacked as a minister by Johnson in February, said the criticism of Patel had sexist overtones.

Their comments come almost 24 hours after Sir Philip’s sensational resignation, a period during which no minister spoke out in defence of the former international development secretary.

Asked on BBC Radio 5 Live whether he was accusing Rutnam of lying, Hancock said: “I’m not getting into that.”

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  • Show Comments
    1. WHY I AM LEAVING THE LABOUR PARTY
      Like so many current members I joined the Labour Party to support Corbyn whose was the first voice I had heard in the party for a long time that proposed a proper political order. Although finally the Party acknowledged that his manifesto was a good one they insisted on calling it left wing when it is no more left wing than Germany’s or France’s policies: basic services of health, education, welfare, policing and infrastructure. This may be socialist but socialism it ain’t.

      Corbyn is a nice, honest middle class man and no orator and no demagogue. He needed the support of his colleagues who are more natural politicians to appeal to the majority of the electorate who, in their greed and selfishness, tend to vote Tory in the hope that by doing as the rich do they themselves will be rich. Neither in the Commons nor in the media did the working class voices put their credibility behind Corbyn’s simple policies and person. With such disdain and repudiation might Christ be treated in any church.

      The Party tried to deal with accusations of antisemitism by repudiation playing into the hands of a capitalist media capable of exploiting such an opportunity, or even creating it. The Party failed to deal with it by coming out not as antipathetic to Jewry but to the state of Israel in its genocidal treatment of its native Arabs. The designation of such antipathy as antisemitic in the U. N. definition could only be criticised as inappropriate. It was not.

      The Party claims to be led by its membership but it was not. What did lead the opposition to Corbyn is not clear to me. It has been suggested that it was infighting in interior conflict for power and influence. Whatever it was it was not a party ready to be led by its membership and their appointed leader. Perhaps they wanted to repeat the success of Tony Blair in achieving power at the cost of not actually doing anything useful. …office at any price…

      I think I should leave the Party rather than support in this minimal way a party compromised beyond political effectiveness. I think I need to support the institution of a party actually promulgating the values the Labour Party professes to espouse and consistently betrays. The Labour Party will then be free to compete with the Liberals for the votes of those who lack the guts to actually vote Tory.

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