The Home Office has posted a job advert seeking a candidate whose responsibilities would include ‘actively tackling bullying’ in the department in the wake of the report that found Home Secretary Priti Patel had bullied civil servants.
The open ‘Head of Home Office Strategy’ position was posted on the department’s LinkedIn page on Tuesday and is also on the government’s civil service jobs page.
In the description the job ad says it is looking for someone to: ‘Champion an inclusive culture by actively tackling bullying, harassment and discrimination and support the health, safety and wellbeing of all staff consistent with the aim of developing a great place to work.’
Described under the list of ‘desirable criteria’, any hopeful applicant is also expected to show ‘a track record of embedding internal change capability, both cultural and behavioural, that works at all levels of a complex organisation.’
With a salary range of £71,000 – £85,000, the successful applicant to the permanent position will be expected ‘to be comfortable working in fast-moving situations, presenting at boards including senior officials and government ministers and providing quality advice and insight at pace.
The Home Office is looking for a ‘Head of Home Office Strategy’ – someone whose responsibilities would include tackling bullying in the department after Home Secretary Priti Patel was found to have bullied civil servants. Pictured: Ms Patel apologies during an interview
Pictured top: The job ad on LinkedIn for the Head of Home Office Strategy. Picture bottom: In the description the job ad says it is looking for someone to: ‘Champion an inclusive culture by actively tackling bullying, harassment and discrimination and support the health, safety and wellbeing of all staff consistent with the aim of developing a great place to work’
‘Building and managing effective working relationships will be crucial, as [the Head of Strategy] will be expected to deliver through others, including the senior leadership of the Department,’ the description says on LinkedIn.
The LinkedIn post comes amid the bullying scandal involving a report that concluded Home Secretary Priti Patel – the Government’s head of the Home Office since 2019 – had bullied civil servants working in the ministerial department.
It is unclear whether the job description for the Head of Strategy position is a reaction to the recent scandal or a wider systemic issue in a department that saw a dozen staff fired between 2018 and 2019 for ‘bullying, harassment, discrimination or offensive behaviour,’ The Mirror reported on Monday.
The Home Office has been approached for comment.
The ad, posted at around midday on Tuesday, has so far seen 51 applicants, according to the page.
The long-awaited probe into the Cabinet minister’s behaviour at three departments ruled she ‘had not met the requirements of the ministerial code to treat civil servants with consideration and respect’.
Ms Patel, 48, faces allegations that she belittled colleagues and clashed with senior officials, with the investigation being launched in March. Civil Service Sir Mark Sedwill said last week it had been on the Prime Minister’s desk since September.
Ms Patel is said to have told civil servants they were ‘f****** useless’, with further details of Miss Patel’s behaviour also emerging on Monday, including claims of multiple examples of ‘shouting, screaming and swearing’.
She has apologised and said she ‘never intentionally set out to upset anyone’.
Boris Johnson stuck his neck out to save the Home Secretary from the sack last week after she was found to have bullied civil servants
Downing Street did not deny claims Mr Johnson had tried and failed to convince Sir Alex Allan, pictured, to tone down his conclusion that the Home Secretary’s behaviour amounted to bullying as he found instances of shouting and swearing at staff
Despite the bullying report’s findings, Boris Johnson refused to fire Ms Patel, even facing allegations himself that he pressured his standards advisor to water down his report on the Home Secretary’s bullying of staff as he urged Tory MPs to ‘form a square around the Pritster’.
Downing Street did not deny claims Mr Johnson had tried and failed to convince Sir Alex Allan to tone down his conclusion that Priti Patel’s behaviour amounted to bullying as he found instances of shouting and swearing at staff.
The advisor quit on Friday when the Prime Minister overruled his conclusion that Ms Patel breached the ministerial code and stood by his Conservative colleague, calling on others within the party to do the same.
It is unclear whether the job description for the Head of Strategy position is a reaction to the recent scandal or a wider systemic issue in the Home Office (pictured) that saw a dozen staff fired between 2018 and 2019 for ‘bullying, harassment, discrimination or offensive behaviour’
Patel accused of being ‘a liar and a bully’ by senior civil servant
Priti Patel was accused of abusive behavior to a series of civil servants across three departments she worked at in Government.
The probe was sparked by the resignation in February of Sir Philip Rutnam as permanent secretary in the Home Office.
It sparked a furious row, with Sir Philip, branding Ms Patel a liar and a bully.
In a bombshell resignation statement, which he read live on television, he accused Miss Patel, 47, of ‘shouting and swearing, belittling people, making unreasonable and repeated demands’.
He accused Ms Patel of orchestrating a ‘vicious’ campaign against him, of lying about her involvement in it and of creating a climate of fear in her department.
It prompted an avalanche of claims against Boris Johnson’s highest ranking female minister, all of which she denies.
Claims against Ms Patel include the allegation she ‘dressed down’ staff in front of their colleagues and asked: ‘Why is everyone so f***ing useless?’
Sir Philip is now taking the Home Secretary and her department to an employment tribunal next year accusing her of unfair dismissal and claiming he should have been protected as a whistleblower.
He was one of the most senior civil servants in Whitehall, having joined the Home Office as permanent secretary – the top civil servant role in each department – in April 2017 having previously done the same job at the Department for Transport for five years.
But a Whitehall source told the BBC that Sir Alex resisted pressure to make the findings more ‘palatable’.
The Mirror reported on Monday that three Home Office staff were sacked in 2019, with nine more being fired in 2018, after attaining the information through a freedom of information request.
According to the newspaper, each of the firings were for ‘bullying, harassment, discrimination or offensive behaviour’. A further 19 staff receiving ‘formal action,’ over there behaviour between 2018 and 2019.
There is mounting pressure over the Home Secretary’s position.
Lucy Powell, shadow business minister, told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge yesterday: ‘If you are found of breaking the ministerial code, your position is completely untenable. I think it’s appalling the Prime Minister has decided to back her instead of sacking her.’
The Prime Minister last week rejected official advice that Miss Patel had broken the ministerial code of conduct by bullying officials in three departments.
While Mr Johnson had told MPs to ‘form a square around the Prittster’, he 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.
Miss Patel, who is popular with the Tory grassroots, is tipped to be made Tory party chairman.
Sources did not deny the reports, but said that conversations about a reshuffle were far too premature.