CONSERVATIVE MPs have rallied behind Priti Patel amid suggestions that an inquiry into allegations of bullying has found that she broke the rules on conduct for UK ministers.

It is thought Boris Johnson is preparing to reject calls to sack the Home Secretary - who has strenuously denied any wrongdoing - when he delivers his long-awaited verdict on her conduct - expected today - even though she breached the ministerial code; normally a resignation matter. However, the Prime Minister is expected to point to a finding that her conduct was “unintentional”.

Ms Patel, 48, has expressed concern at “false” claims about her conduct and allies, while they admit she is a “demanding” boss, insist she is not a bully.

According to reports, the Cabinet Office probe found she failed to meet the ministerial requirement to treat civil servants with respect and consideration.

Scores of Tories expressed support for Ms Patel, with Matt Hancock, England’s Health Secretary, saying he felt “very proud” to serve in a Cabinet with her.

He told BBC Breakfast: “She’s doing an excellent job and is an excellent Home Secretary and really delivering on things that matter to people. In all the dealings I’ve ever had with her she’s been nothing but courteous.”

Another Cabinet colleague Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Commons Leader, insisted Ms Patel was a “formidable Home Secretary” and an “asset to Government”.

While James Cleverly, the Foreign Office Minister, said he was “proud that my friend and neighbour is leading the Home Office and delivering increased police numbers and secure borders”.

He tweeted: “She is delivering the first duty of government: protection of the British people.”

Tory colleague Tom Tugendhat, who chairs the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, said Ms Patel had support across the party because she was “hard-working, determined and has been very kind to many”.

However, opposition parties were highly critical.

Labour accused Mr Johnson of presiding over a “cover-up” after it emerged that a fact-finding report into her behaviour will not be made public.

Instead, the PM is expected to release an assessment of its findings by his adviser on ministerial standards, Sir Alex Allan.

Nick Thomas-Symonds, Ms Patels’ Labour Shadow, said suggestions Mr Johnson would not sack Ms Patel showed “all the hallmarks of a prime ministerial cover-up”.

He said: “We need to see the full report, it needs to be published in full, line by line, and the Home Secretary and the Prime Minister need to come to Parliament to answer questions because the revelations in recent days have been extraordinarily serious.

“I’m afraid this really does have all the hallmarks of a prime ministerial cover-up and raises questions about his judgment.

“If what has been reported is correct, then it is tantamount to the Prime Minister condoning bullying.”

Mr Thomas-Symonds said that given the nine-month delay in finalising the investigation into Ms Patel’s conduct, he had “lost confidence in this process” and said the matter should be referred to the standards watchdog, the Committee on Standards in Public Life, for a “full investigation to take place and establish the facts”.

Joanna Cherry for the SNP also demanded full disclosure and the report should be published without delay. “The attempts at a cover-up must stop,” declared the Edinburgh MP.

“Boris Johnson should not have pre-judged the investigation and there should be no special treatment swayed by the interests of the Tory party and his friends.”

Ms Cherry added: “I shall be demanding that both the Prime Minister and the Home Secretary answer to Parliament for this shabby situation.”

The Commons is not sitting today but the expectation is that opposition politicians will demand a Government statement on Monday.

Sir Alex reportedly concluded: “My advice is that the Home Secretary has not always met the high standards of the code in treating civil servants with respect.

“Instances would meet the definition of bullying. To that extent her behaviour has been in breach of the ministerial code even if unintentional.”

Sir Alex is said to have also been critical of some civil servants in the Home Office, saying they had not always been as “flexible” as they could have been in “responding to the Home Secretary’s requests and directions”.

He was said to have found she “legitimately” felt that she had not always been supported by her department and that she received no feedback about the impact of her behaviour.

Dave Penman, General Secretary of senior civil servants’ union the FDA, said Mr Johnson’s actions had undermined confidence in the whole process.

A Cabinet Office investigation was launched in March over allegations that Ms Patel belittled colleagues and clashed with senior officials in three different departments.

It followed the resignation of Sir Philip Rutnam, the Home Office’s Permanent Secretary,who accused Ms Patel of a “vicious and orchestrated briefing campaign” against him and is claiming constructive dismissal at an employment tribunal.

A Government spokesman said: “The process is ongoing and the Prime Minister will make any decision on the matter public once the process has concluded.”