The Deputy Prime Minister resigned yesterday because a lawyer found against him on two of the eight allegations made. He had promised to resign if there was any finding against and kept his word.
He did not however go quietly or in apologetic mode. Instead he has invited us to have a more general debate about relations between senior civil servants and Ministers. He argues the bar for bullying has now been set so low Ministers will find it difficult to get things done or get the government’s will implemented.
He claims that on one occasion when negotiating over Gibraltar he felt a senior official was not following government wishes. On another occasion in the Justice Ministry in a budget meeting he did not feel he was getting the facts he needed to make good decisions. How far should a Minister be able to go in what they say in such circumstances? Is accusing a senior official of poor work in private going too far?