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Ministerial Code investigation

This page contains Sir Alex Allan’s findings on the Home Secretary’s conduct and an accompanying government statement.

Government statement

The Prime Minister has taken advice from his Independent Adviser, Sir Alex Allan, in relation to the allegations made earlier this year around the Home Secretary’s conduct. The Prime Minister takes this issue very seriously and recognises that it is always difficult for individuals to come forward and raise concerns and is grateful to those who have done so. The Prime Minister is grateful to Sir Alex for his advice and has considered his conclusions carefully.

It was clear from Sir Alex’s advice that at times there have been difficult working relationships all round. Sir Alex’s advice found that the Home Secretary had become – justifiably in many instances – frustrated by the Home Office leadership’s lack of responsiveness and the lack of support she felt in DfID three years ago. He also found, however, that the Home Secretary had not always treated her civil servants with the consideration and respect that would be expected, and her approach on occasion has amounted to behaviour that can be described as bullying in terms of the impact felt by individuals.

He went on to advise, therefore, that the Home Secretary had not consistently met the high standards expected of her under the Ministerial Code.

The Prime Minister notes Sir Alex’s advice that many of the concerns now raised were not raised at the time and that the Home Secretary was unaware of the impact that she had. He is reassured that the Home Secretary is sorry for inadvertently upsetting those with whom she was working. He is also reassured that relationships, practices and culture in the Home Office are much improved. As the arbiter of the code, having considered Sir Alex’s advice and weighing up all the factors, the Prime Minister’s judgement is that the Ministerial Code was not breached.

The Prime Minister has full confidence in the Home Secretary and considers this matter now closed. He is grateful to the thousands of civil servants working extremely hard to support delivery of the Government’s priorities.

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