Top civil servant accuses Michael Gove of bullying in row over Ukrainian refugees


MICHAEL Gove has been accused of bullying by a top civil servant in a heated turf war over Ukrainian refugees, HOAR can reveal.

The Home Office Permanent Secretary has complained to the head of the Levelling Up department over Mr Gove’s allegedly angry behaviour toward Home Office officials.

Michael Gove has been accused of bullying by a top civil servant in a row over Ukrainian refugees
Home Office Permanent Secretary Matthew Rycroft has complained about Gove to the head of the Levelling Up department Jeremy Pocklington

It comes amid rows between the two departments over bungled support for desperate victims of Vladimir Putin’s war that are trying to get to the UK.

The Levelling Up Department took over the running of the scheme after hefty criticism of the Home Office for being too slow to dish out help.

Ministers have been slammed for issuing visas too slowly and forcing thousands to fill out endless forms before they get the green light to come to the UK.

Woeful figures last week revealed just 1,200 refugees have arrived via the Homes for Ukraine route, which opened three weeks ago.

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Some 43,600 applications have been made so far — a dismal 3 per cent success rate.

Tensions between ministers and officials are believed to have boiled over last week in high-level meetings.

Levelling Up Secretary Mr Gove was said to have been visibly angry with a string of officials over problems with the scheme.

Matthew Rycroft, the Home Office permanent secretary, is understood to have complained about his behaviour to Jeremy Pocklington, the permanent secretary in Mr Gove’s department after the meeting.

A Government spokesperson said: “Humanitarian schemes set up in record time by the Home Office and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities working closely together are helping thousands of Ukrainians find safety in the UK.”

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