Boris Johnson ‘will demote Priti Patel over asylum crisis’: Under-fire Home Secretary is predicted to be made Tory chairman in reshuffle over response to migrant Channel crossings
- Prime Minister rejected advice Miss Patel broke the ministerial code of conduct
- She was said to have bullied civil servants, now speculation he could demote her
- There are questions over her competence to deal with Channel migrants crisis
Priti Patel could face the axe as Home Secretary and be made Tory chairman in a New Year reshuffle, it was claimed yesterday.
Boris Johnson had stuck his neck out to save her from the sack last week after she was found to have bullied civil servants.
But there is now speculation that he could demote her amid questions over her competence and failure to deal with the Channel migrants crisis.
Priti Patel (pictured) could face the axe as Home Secretary and be made Tory chairman in a New Year reshuffle, it was claimed yesterday
The Prime Minister last week rejected official advice that Miss Patel had broken the ministerial code of conduct by bullying officials in three departments.
His decision prompted the resignation of his ethics adviser Sir Alex Allan, who had found that the claims against her were true.
But despite this, Mr Johnson has had conversations about moving her when he recasts his Cabinet, sources told The Sunday Times.
He had told MPs to ‘form a square around the Prittster’ but is said to have tired of her failure to tackle the surge of migrants arriving in the UK by boat.
‘The view of the political operation in No 10 was that she should be protected,’ a senior Tory told the paper.
‘But there is also a view that she should be reshuffled on competence grounds.
‘There is continual frustration that the Home Office has not got a grip on things, the small boats in particular.’
Policing minister Kit Malthouse, who is a confidant of the PM, is favourite to take over, the paper reported. Michael Gove and Dominic Raab are also understood to be in the frame.
Boris Johnson had stuck his neck out to save her from the sack last week after she was found to have bullied civil servants
Miss Patel, 48, who is popular with the Tory grassroots, is tipped to be made Tory party chairman.
Sources did not deny the reports yesterday, but said that conversations about a reshuffle were far too premature.
Further details of Miss Patel’s behaviour also emerged yesterday, with claims of multiple examples of ‘shouting, screaming and swearing’.
She has apologised and said she ‘never intentionally set out to upset anyone’.