PRITI Patel mounted an ambitious power grab to take control of all Britains intelligence agencies, sparking a fresh clash with Whitehalls top mandarin.
The Home Secretarys latest dust up with senior civil servants emerged as Boris Johnson ordered an inquiry into bullying allegations levelled against her.
Priti Patel mounted a power grab to control all of Britain’s intelligence agencies, the Sun reveals
The Cabinet Office will probe incendiary bullying claims made by former Home Office boss Sir Philip Rutnam, who resigned on Saturday to sue Ms Patel.
Announcing the investigation to MPs on Monday, senior Cabinet minister Michael Gove also confirmed the PM had decided to stand solidly behind her, dubbing her a superb minister doing a great job.
Ms Patel is already in charge of MI5.
Under her audacious move, The Sun can reveal that Ms Patel drew up plans for a new joint control centre within the Home Office for MI6 and GCHQ too.
Coming in the wake of the London Bridge terror attack, it was envisaged the new organisation would issue security tasks to the two foreign spy services, effectively giving her oversight of them too.
They currently fall under the Foreign Secretarys remit.
But her bid – to be included in the new Counter Terrorism Bill – was blocked by Cabinet Secretary and National Security Adviser Sir Mark Sedwill.
One of Ms Patels allies familiar with the plan said Sir Mark killed it off because of fears over costs and that he was protecting empires.
The Prime Minister has ordered an inquiry into bullying allegations against his Home SecretaryCredit: Reuters
Former Home Office boss Sir Philip Rutnam resigned on SaturdayCredit: BBC
Cabinet Secretary Sir Mark Sedwill will decide whether Priti Patel broke ministerial codeCredit: EPA
Mr Gove told the Commons that the inquiry, which will be lead by Sir Mark as Cabinet Secretary, will decide whether Ms Patel broke the ministerial code.
He also confirmed all complaints made against Ms Patel will be looked at, including some made in her previous ministerial jobs.
It also emerged on Monday that a former aide to the Home Secretary was given a £25,000 payout from the Department of Work and Pensions after claims which included that she was bullied by her when she was the employment minister.
Legal correspondence seen by the BBC also alleged the woman took an overdose of prescription medicine following the alleged incident in 2015.
But insisting he also had the highest regard for Ms Patel, Mr Gove added: The Home Secretary absolutely rejects these allegations.
But Tory MPs mounted an organised and major display of support for Ms Patel from the backbenches, repeatedly standing to back her.
Ex-Cabinet minister John Redwood said: Can the government guarantee this will be a quick process so she can get on with the job?
Another, Owen Paterson, added: Her real offence is she has upset the opposition and the establishment.
The senior civil servants union insisted the Cabinet Office probe didnt go far enough.
FDA General Secretary Dave Penman said: The announcement that the Cabinet Office has been tasked with establishing the facts falls far short of the independent inquiry we have called for.
The government is establishing an inquiry that civil servants are expected to have trust in, whilst at the same time ministers stand at the despatch box and pledge their confidence in the Home Secretary.
Tory grandees also told of their fears yesterday that the furore could see the government new immigration plan delayed.
Former deputy PM Damian Green said: It clearly doesnt help.
Michael Gove praises ‘superb’ Priti Patel as he reveals inquiry into bullying allegations