“Ruthless” Priti Patel left officials “trembling” with her demanding behaviour as a Minister, the Mirror has been told.
The Home Secretary has been accused of trying to oust a senior civil servant, as her department was plunged into a furious “bullying” row.
The Home Secretary reportedly demanded the removal of her permanent secretary Sir Philip Rutnam, who is said to have raised concerns about her behaviour.
Ms Patel has allegedly gained a reputation for being “ruthless” and “demanding”.
A Government source told the Mirror: “If she took against an official, she would let it be known and she would ask for people to be removed from jobs.
“She’s very robust, very demanding and wants impossible stuff done instantly, and wouldn’t take no for an answer. I have seen people trembling in meetings with her.”
The source said Ms Patel’s ruthless behaviour had been “amplified” since Boris Johnson’s aide Dominic Cummings arrived at No10.
They added: “She inherently dislikes civil servants, she thinks they are risk averse.
“She thinks they are trying to stop what she wants to achieve. She is ruthless and, with Cummings on board, it has been amplified.”
The row between Sir Philip and Ms Patel reportedly followed demands from the Home Secretary, some of which officials said were “illegal”.
The pair had “fundamental disagreements about the rule of law”, according to a source.
But an ally of Ms Patel said they “did not recognise” these claims.
A source said they “strongly refute” accusations of bullying or belittling and had never seen any evidence of this, instead describing her as “demanding but kind”, adding: “But it is a demanding job, that’s the nature of the job.”
The Home Office and Ms Patel declined to comment on this, or on claims Ms Patel had demanded Sir Philip’s removal.
A source close to Ms Patel said: “This is malicious gossip and we will not be commenting further."
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