Priti Patel is ‘symptom of what’s wrong with this government’

Priti Patel is not just what is wrong with the Home Office. She is a symptom of what is wrong with this government.

It’s unheard of for a Whitehall mandarin as senior as Sir Philip Rutnam to quit as dramatically as he did yesterday.

And to publicly accuse the Home Secretary of being a bully and a liar is unprecedented.

Sir Philip was one of Whitehall’s Sir Humphreys who obey a strict code of omerta.

They may pull the strings behind the scenes but they never – but never – speak out publicly.

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For him to be driven to do so, and give up a handsome payoff to boot, shows there is something rotten at the core of government.

And the worst of the bad apples are in Downing Street – Boris Johnson and his sinister sidekick Dominic Cummings.

Their goal is to turn a healthy Parliamentary majority into a toxic tyranny. And they will destroy anyone who stands in their way.

A ministerial adviser is marched from No10 to the dole queue by armed men. A chancellor is told he can keep his job but only if he sacks his staff.

The PM and Cummings put the BBC in Coventry, but will not go to Coventry or other cities when they flood.

And they behaved as if bedridden when coronavirus first emerged.

Only now are they awake to the threat.

Mr Johnson demands to be treated not as first among equals but as Dear Supreme Leader, a dictator firing off commands from deep within his No10 bunker.

And a blind eye is often turned when ministers bully and harass their hardworking staff who do their best to look after us.

Sir Philip’s actions yesterday will most likely end in Ms Patel also losing her job.

But sadly there is a way to go before Boris Johnson loses his.

Priti Patel has got something right though. And that is to equip 8,000 more police officers with Tasers.

It cannot be long now before every frontline officer who wants one gets one. And that is nine in 10 of them.

Tasers are a humane alternative to firearms. They can keep police and public safe with minimal risk to offenders.

And they should be carried as a matter of routine.

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