A CIVIL servant took an overdose after being bullied by Priti Patel and later got a £25,000 payout from the government, it has been claimed.

The woman was shouted at, told to get lost and was dismissed from her job in the minister’s private office because Ms Patel, then employment minister, did not "like [her] face", according to legal correspondence seen by the BBC.

The woman took an overdose of prescription medicine in her office and had to be taken home by her partner where she attempted to kill herself, the broadcaster reported. She spent the night in hospital.

Ms Patel is described as having acted "without warning" and with an "unprovoked level of aggression", in the woman's grievance complaint.


It is claimed the aide received a £25,000 settlement from the Department for Work and Pensions, after a claim of unfair dismissal, victimisation, harassment and discrimination in 2015 against her old boss.

The DWP did not admit liability and the case did not come before a tribunal.

A government spokesperson said: "We do not comment on individual personnel matters".

A source close to Ms Patel told the BBC she was 'unaware of any complaint being made'.

The claim emerged as Ms Patel faced an inquiry into claims about her conduct in several government departments.

Boris Johnson has asked the Cabinet Office to “establish the facts”, following allegations that the Home Secretary has breached the ministerial code.

Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove confirmed the action being taken following an urgent question from Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn yesterday.


He addressed the Commons after Sir Philip Rutnam quit as permanent secretary of the Home Office after rows with Patel, with allegations of bullying levelled against the Home Secretary.

He left his post over the weekend and is planning legal action against the government, on the grounds of constructive dismissal.

Gove told MPs: “Allegations have been made that the Home Secretary has breached the ministerial code. The Home Secretary absolutely rejects these allegations.

“The Prime Minister has expressed his full confidence in her, and having worked closely with the Home Secretary over a number of years, I have the highest regard for her, she is a superb minister doing a great job.

“This Government always takes any complaints relating to the ministerial code seriously, and in line with the process set out in the ministerial code the Prime Minister has asked the Cabinet Office to establish the facts.

“As is usual, the independent adviser on ministerial interests, Sir Alex Allan, is available to provide advice to the Prime Minister.”

Gove said the Government would not comment on an individual matter, in line with its long-standing policy, before praising the Home Office ministers and civil servants.

Corbyn said if the “serious allegations” raised by Sir Philip about the Home Secretary’s conduct are true “then that would clearly constitute a breach of the ministerial code”.

He added: “Why, without a proper investigation, has the Prime Minister defended the Home Secretary, calling her fantastic and saying he absolutely has confidence in her?

“It’s not enough just to refer this to the Cabinet Office, the Government must now call in an external lawyer, as quite rightly suggested by the union for senior civil servants.

“A minister in breach of the ministerial code cannot remain in office and should be dismissed.”