Priti Patel Accuses Tory Colleagues Of 'Duplicity, Dishonesty And Self-Interest'

Dorries, Patel and Badenoch
Dorries, Patel and Badenoch

Dorries, Patel and Badenoch

Priti Patel has launched a blistering attack on fellow Tories, accusing them of “duplicity, dishonesty and self-interest”.

The former home secretary made the comment in response to leaked messages between Tory ministers - apparently sent during the collapse of Boris Johnson’s administration in July last year.

Nadine Dorries, the former culture secretary, also commented on the leaked WhatsApp messages, suggesting they might amount to “bullying”.

The correspondence was shared by former building safety minister Stephen Greenhalgh who said they gave insight into a “herd-like” mentality.

The Tory peer, an ally of Johnson, wrote: “Insight into the feverish herd-like mentality within this [department for levelling up] ex-ministerial WhatsApp group.

“As Eddie Hughes and I remained in post, we were removed. Both Eddie and I resigned AFTER Boris Johnson announced his resignation. We were the counter herd!”

The messages apparently showed former local government minister Kemi Badenoch encouraging assistant government whip Sarah Dines to “resign before midnight”, telling her “DO IT DO IT DO IT”.

The screenshot apparently showed Badenoch, who is now business secretary, removing then ministers Eddie Hughes and Greenhalgh from the group.

Former refugees minister Lord Harrington asked not to be removed from the group, meanwhile Michael Gove adviser Henry Newman messaged “others can stay if they stay” with a hush emoji.

Commenting on the leaked messages, Patel tweeted: “Duplicity, dishonestly and self-interest...exactly why the public distrust so many senior politicians…”

Meanwhile, Dorries added: “Dines was a new intake MP. Kemi, a minister.

“Imagine how it felt to be intimidated to resign, to turn against your PM, to be disloyal and when you remained loyal, be removed and isolated from a group thread of your peers.

“Some might say that amounts to school ground bullying.”

A government source familiar with the situation at the time said the exchange took place after senior Tory Michael Gove was fired by Johnson.

“It is a snippet of a conversation, purposefully taken out of context,” they added. “I’ll leave others to speculate why someone does this for likes on Twitter.”

Gove was sacked by Boris Johnson on the evening of July 6 after telling the then prime minister to quit.

By this point scores of ministers and cabinet ministers had resigned from Johnson’s government.

The next day, Johnson announced his resignation as prime minister and leader of the Conservative party.

Gove went on to back Badenoch in the leadership race which was won by Liz Truss.