Bullying allegations made by staff in John Prescott’s former department

Staff at John Prescott’s former department made 13 allegations of bullying and harassment.

Barbara Follett, the junior communities minister, said the complaints were made by staff at the now closed Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM).

The news comes after Christine Pratt, chief executive of the National Bullying Helpline, alleged the charity had received calls from staff who felt they were being bullied while working at Downing Street and the ODPM.

Follett revealed the number of bullying complaints at the ODPM in a written Commons answer to shadow communities minister Stewart Jackson, but did not disclose if any were upheld, the Daily Telegraph has reported.

She said: “According to the information available to us, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister received 13 formal complaints of bullying and harassment from staff during the period of the department’s existence.

“Bullying and harassment were classified as one issue by that department.”

The ODPM was initially set up as part of the Cabinet Office in 2001 but became a separate department a year later. In 2006, its responsibilities were passed to the Department for Communities and Local Government.

Stewart Jackson said: “This question confirms that there was a culture of bullying in John Prescott’s department. This is a failure of management, and another sign of how Labour ministers have let down the Civil Service.”

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