Exclusive: Anger As Nadine Dorries Dismisses Steve Barclay Bullying Claims As 'Politically Motivated'

"Her entire world view is based on political conspiracies and imagined enemies."
Nadine Dorries spoke out on her Talk TV chat show.
Nadine Dorries spoke out on her Talk TV chat show.
DANIEL LEAL via Getty Images

Nadine Dorries has been condemned after she claimed bullying allegations against Steve Barclay were “politically-motivated”.

The former culture secretary made the accusation on her Talk TV chat show.

Barclay, the health secretary, is facing allegations about his treatment of staff just days after the resignation of Dominic Raab following a report into bullying claims against him.

The Guardian reported that civil servants informally complained to the Department of Health’s top mandarin about how they were treated by Barclay, while senior officials privately spoke of “bullying” and other “bad behaviour”.

A source close to the minister told HuffPost UK: “No complaint has been made and the allegations are untrue.”

Dorries, who is standing down as a Tory MP at the next election, said: “I have known Steve Barclay for 18 years and I would defend him with my dying breath. Professional, respectful, courteous, kind, compassionate are the words which jump to mind to describe him if I were ever to be asked.”

On the bullying claims, she said: “It is without doubt politically-motivated by the unions and they have shot themselves in the foot and exposed their true intentions trying to claim the scalp of another cabinet minister who so many respect - but they have chosen the wrong man. This accusation is beyond absurd.”

She added: “If anyone brings forward a genuine bullying claim in the future they are going to find it difficult to be believed because those lefties who are trying to bring down the government by any false means possible will have cried wolf once too often.”

Dave Penman, general secretary of the FDA union, which represents senior civil servants, told HuffPost UK: “Nadine Dorries actively demonstrates two key factors.

“Firstly, she doesn’t understand what bullying is - it’s an abuse of power. The relationship she would have had with a fellow minister has a very different power dynamic to that between a minister and their civil servants.

“Secondly, her entire world view is based on political conspiracies and imagined enemies. She cannot fathom that civil servants might simply be complaining about how they are treated in the workplace.”


What's Hot