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Iran Press TV

MI5 bosses reported to be wary of 'bullying' and over-ambitious Patel

Iran Press TV

Sunday, 23 February 2020 3:25 PM

Britain's hard right Home Secretary, Priti Patel, is under renewed pressure today as reports emerge of a serious rift between her and the chiefs of the Security Service, MI5.

According to the Times newspaper, senior officers in MI5 have "reduced the volume" of intelligence they share with the controversial Home Secretary.

Moreover, according to the Times, MI5 bosses regularly "roll their eyes" at Patel's interventions in meetings.

Patel's icy relationship with the powerful MI5 bosses comes on the heels of the resignation of the Home Office's most senior civil servant on immigration. The official quit after being allegedly bullied by Patel.

More broadly, Patel has been accused of creating an "atmosphere of fear" inside the Home Office, and specifically of trying to force out the department's Permanent Secretary, Sir Philip Rutnam.

But the latest allegations of conflict between Patel and MI5 bosses is the most serious to date as it speaks to instability at the heart of the British security apparatus.

Besides Patel's bullying leadership style, MI5 chiefs have plenty of reason to be wary of the over-ambitious Home Secretary who maintains extensive contacts with foreign officials.

Back in November 2017 Patel was embroiled in a scandal centred on unauthorised meetings with Israeli officials.

She was forced to resign as international development secretary after it transpired that during a trip to Israel in August 2017 she held a series of unauthorized meetings with senior Israeli politicians, including Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

Patel also had a further two meetings with Israeli politicians in September 2017, without the presence of British officials, whose job it is to monitor such encounters.

Britain's close ties to Israel notwithstanding, Patel's extensive ties to Israeli leaders and politicians is bound to cause anxiety at the higher reaches of MI5.

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