MI5 dragged into Priti Patel’s civil war after claims spies held back info

MI5 was dragged into the civil war raging at the Home Office today following claims spy chiefs were holding back some intelligence details from Priti Patel.

A newspaper reported the Home Secretary’s approach had “compromised relations” with the Security Service.

A source told the Sunday Times she now receives less intelligence than her predecessors.

“They have to decide how much to share, and they share less,” said the source.

“She is also informed about things later in the decision-making process than before.

“Some things the security services do have legal implications, but she tends not to want to hear that.”

A second source was quoted as saying: “She doesn’t grasp the subtleties of intelligence.

“It’s not black and white. They don’t have confidence in her abilities."

But today a security source hit back at the claims.

They said: “Reports suggesting that the Home Secretary and MI5 do not have a strong working relationship are simply untrue.

“The Home Secretary is briefed daily on intelligence matters in exactly the same way as any previous post holder.

“No information is being withheld. Any report suggesting otherwise is simply wrong and does not serve the public interest.”

The latest row underlines the scale of infighting dogging the Home Office – see as one of the biggest banana skins in Whitehall.

Ms Patel was last week accused of bullying officials – and allegedly tried to oust a senior civil servant.

A source close to the Home Secretary branded the claims “malicious gossip”.

Relations are said to have soured between her and the ministry’s top civil servant, permanent secretary Sir Philip Rutnam.

Then it emerged a claim the Home Office is “institutionally racist” was stripped out of an early draft of a report into the Windrush fiasco.

The Home Office denied ministers had seen the report.

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