Priti Patel tried to force out her most senior civil servant after a row over her behaviour, it was claimed last night.
Staff have allegedly accused the Home Secretary of bullying and belittling officials in meetings.
They also complained she has made unreasonable demands and created an ‘atmosphere of fear’.
Sir Philip Rutnam, the permanent secretary, is said to have raised concerns about her treatment of staff within the Cabinet Office.
Priti Patel has been accused of bullying and belittling officials in meetings, she is pictured above meeting students and staff working at Imperial College London on Tuesday
Sir Philip Rutnam (pictured above) is said to have raised concerns about her treatment of staff within the Cabinet Office
Sir Mark Sedwill, the cabinet secretary, was dragged into the row as Miss Patel demanded the removal of Sir Philip, according to the Times.
A senior Whitehall source told the newspaper that the situation had become ‘completely unsustainable and was going to blow up’.
They added: ‘The Home Office is dysfunctional and the current permanent secretary had presided over a sacking of a home secretary and accidental deportations’.
Last week a senior official in the department collapsed after a tense meeting with the minister over the deportation of foreign criminals to Jamaica.
Sir Mark Sedwill, the cabinet secretary, was dragged into the row as Miss Patel demanded the removal of Sir Philip, it was said
Who is Priti Patel, the Home Secretary who made a shock return to the government after Boris Johnson won power?
Priti Patel was brought back in to the heart of Government by Boris Johnson last July, less than two years after quitting the Cabinet in disgrace.
The daughter of Gujarati Ugandan Asians, she picked up her Tory values and work ethic from her parents.
The right-winger and vocal Brexiteer’s maternal family was originally from Gujarat in India, before moving to Uganda in the early 20th century and prospered in business.
They moved to the UK in the 1960s, before the East African nation’s 80,000 Asian community was were expelled by the murderous dictator Idi Amin in 1972.
Her parents, Sushil and Anjana, initially lodged in one small room in North London while he completed his studies in engineering.
Eventually, they were able to buy a small house in Harrow and used that to secure a bank loan for their first shop, a newsagent in Tottenham.
Priti and her younger sister and brother were frequently called upon to work alongside their parents in the several shops and sub-post offices they ran in Nottingham, Ipswich and Norwich.
When Priti became secondary school age, the family bought an upmarket chocolate shop in Hertfordshire where there were good state schools, including Watford Grammar where she was head girl.
She later got a degree in economics, sociology and social anthropology at Keele University and a post-graduate diploma in government and politics at Essex.
A team had been working overnight to try and iron out the High Court ruling barring the deportation of the 25 criminals.
The official fell ill during one of the meetings and had to be taken to hospital where it was found that he had a sodium deficiency.
A Home Office spokesman said there had been no ‘formal’ complaints against her.
Her allies rejected complaints of bullying and said she had never been unreasonable.
They reportedly also said Sir Philip was to blame for Amber Rudd’s forced resignation over the Windrush scandal in 2018.
Sir Philip is also reportedly writing to all senior members of the civil service in the department to highlight the dangers of work place stress.
The source added: ‘If this were any other environment Philip Rutnam would not only be sacked he’d be denied a pension’.
It is also claimed he told team members that they should not be expected to do ‘unrealistic’ work outside of contracted working hours.
Priti Patel replaced Sajid Javid as Home Secretary in July 2019, becoming the first ethnic minority woman to hold the office.
The claims regarding Miss Patel’s conduct come as she admitted her own Uganda Asian parents would have been stopped from settling in the UK under the Government’s new hardline Australian-style points-based immigration policy.
Yesterday morning she published plans for an ‘Australian-style’ points-based immigration system as she said net migration will fall when it is introduced next year.
But the 47-year-old, who was born in London to Ugandan Asian parents of Gujarati descent, admitted they would not have made the cut were the system in place in the 1960s, in a frank radio interview.
Priti Patel yesterday defended the government’s proposed crackdown on low-skilled foreign migrants coming to the UK as she said it was ‘about time’ British businesses focused on investing in UK workers
LBC presenter Nick Ferrari, who is of Italian descent, said to her: ‘The side of my family on my father’s side were in catering, so I don’t know if I would actually be in this country under these rules. Would you, with your parents?’
They will need at least 70 points to work in Britain, with points awarded for speaking English, if the job earns a salary above £25,600 and if it is at a certain skill level
LBC presenter Nick Ferrari, who is of Italian heritage, said to her: ‘The side of my family on my father’s side were in catering, so I don’t know if I would actually be in this country under these rules. Would you, with your parents?’
She replied: ‘This isn’t about my background or my parents.’
He pressed her again, highlighting her family background – her parents came to the UK in the 60s and set up a newsagent chain – saying: ‘But you wouldn’t be here, Home Secretary.’
At that point, she said: ‘Yeah, but also let’s not forget we are not changing our approach to refugees and asylum seekers, which is very different to a points-based system for employment and that particular route.’
Ms Patel has previously said her parents ‘were kicked out of Uganda’ and ‘came to the UK with nothing, worked hard and set up a successful shop business’.
After the new points system was introduced, farm workers warned Miss Patel that the UK could have a shortage of workers.
Leaders in agriculture, hospitality and the care system were among those who lashed out at the Home Secretary after she dismissed fears over staff shortages caused by the proposed points-based system.
National farmers’ Union president Minette Batters warned that tens of thousands of seasonal migrant workers will still be required to come to the UK to harvest fruit and vegetable crops in 2021, the year in which it comes into force.
The number of temporary workers farms can recruit from outside the EU under the seasonal workers scheme has been increased to 10,000 for the coming season, up from 2,500, which the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) said would ease some of the pressure this year.
But the NFU urged the Government to commit to a full scheme for 2021, so growers can recruit the 70,000 seasonal workers needed on British fruit, vegetable and flower farms.