The most extraordinary thing is that dozens of Tory MPs and others in the pro Patel camp are missing the point completely. The issue is not how able, how determined, how hard-working, how charming etc etc she is. It’s not about her rightness over Brexit. It’s not about her policies in the Home Office. None of these things. What it’s about is that a properly constituted enquiry conducted by an experienced, qualified and independent assessor found her indisputably guilty of bullying behaviour. Not on one occasion but repeatedly. All the rest is noise.
The Jimmy Savile defence (“I always found Mr Savile charming…”) doesn’t work for Patel any more than it worked for Savile. All the Tories who burst onto social media in an obviously coordinated action to say how wonderful Patel is expected us to ignore Sir Alex Allan’s report because she is kind to children and animals (I paraphrase).
Natural Justice says that if someone is guilty of unlawful or unacceptable behaviour they have to accept the consequences. Boris Johnson overruled Sir Alex for no reason other than political self-interest. He didn’t cite mitigating circumstances because there clearly were none. Johnson allowed Patel to wriggle free – an unprecedented thing to do and it unsurprisingly led to Sir Alex’s resignation.
This is a shameful scandal. The behaviour itself. The delays in releasing the report. The wholly inadequate apology. The rallying round by sycophants. The contempt for precedent and public interest. These are not the actions of honourable people in a respected democracy. They are the actions of dictators and crooks in a failed state.