Priti Patel ‘struggling to adequately reprimand unruly staff’ in Zoom age

‘I make no apologies for being tough’ said perennial Apprentice candidate Ms Patel in response to bullying allegations.

“What people don’t understand about these swivel-eyed feckless civil servants is that they need a good hiding, telling off, stern talking to, belittling, humiliation, gaslighting, abuse, bloodletting, medieval torture, breaking on the wheel, sacrifice in Satanic rituals and ultimately crucifixion just to get stuff done.”

Her comments have been met by support from her peers. “Anyone who’s worked in a high-pressure job will know you can’t retroactively deport your parents without a jobsworth larking on about human-rights nowadays,” said party donor, Peter Gammon.

However, now her day-to-day ministerial duties take place remotely, Patel is struggling to create the powerful sense of dread deemed needed to cow her direct reports into operationalising her machinations of evil. “We’re already seeing a drop-off in results” she explains, “instead of shivering in chaotic self-doubt or nagging down a crisis helpline, they’re at their desks trying to stop a pandemic”.

The transformation is also taking its toll on the home secretary. “No matter how cruel and retrograde a policy I promote, it is drowned out by COVID news”. This is seen as a barrier to her continued career success; fuelled by energising the bloodthirsty core party supporters into providing funds, votes, and a moral authority for their troubling views. Furthermore, “it is becoming impossible to scratch that itch — I tried publicly berating elderly shelf-stackers in Tesco, but it’s not the same”.

Asked why she takes such a hard line with her staff, she noted that “if they were smart, they would have married a hedge-fund manager and undertaken illegal meetings with corrupt Israeli officials”. We reached out to her staff for comment, but nobody wanted to be linked a response.