Furious Priti Patel savages meddling civil servants as they plot to torpedo her masterplan

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The Home Secretary said she was made to feel “uncomfortable” when she took on her role and did not have the support of some of those working for her. She accused the civil service of “a lot of pushback” against policies she attempted to implement.

Ms Patel took on the role in one of the four great offices of state in 2019.

She became the first female ethnic minority Home Secretary and implied her heritage was partially responsible for some of the opposition she faced in the department.

The Witham MP accused the Home Office of having become “institutionalised” and “very binary” in its thinking.

Appearing before the House of Lords justice and home affairs committee she vowed reform that starts with “just understanding and recognising and respecting” different cultures.

“Now, it’s easy for me to say that — look at how ethnically diverse I am, I’m an internationalist, I have been brought up like that and that speaks to my own personal values, my own family background,” she said.

“But you can again see in Government — large, large government departments across government — you become very binary in your thinking, very silo-rised.

“Absolutely I walked into all of that, completely.”

Ms Patel took charge of the Home Office shortly before the investigation into the Windrush scandal published its findings.

A damning report accused the Home Office of “institutional racism”.

The Windrush scandal was first reported in 2018 when it came to light a number of migrants who had come to Britain after world war Two had been wrongly detained, deported and lost benefits.

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While they had been given the right to remain in the UK, the loss of Government documentation made it hard to prove they were in the country legally.

The Home Office was accused of carrying out deportations despite knowing of the flaws in the system.

Failings around the scandal were “consistent with some elements of the definition of institutional racism”, according to the investigation.

Explaining her own experience in the department, Ms Patel added: “If I think about Windrush, obviously I walked into a department just as the lessons learnt report was due to come out.

“I have my own views quite frankly, I’m an ethnic minority home secretary coming into a department where it didn’t feel that comfortable.”

Ms Patel has been known for her run-ins with senior members of Home Office staff in the past.

Boris Johnson was forced to launch an independent investigation into Ms Patel last year after claims of bullying from the Home Secretary.

Standards chief Sir Alex Allan found the Witham MP “has not consistently met the high standards required by the ministerial code of treating her civil servants with consideration and respect as he cited examples of “shouting and swearing”.

Ms Patel said she gave a “fulsome apology” and that “any upset I have caused was completely unintentional”.

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