MI5 chiefs rubbish claim they withheld intelligence from Home Secretary Priti Patel – The Sun

SPY bosses have backed Priti Patel amid claims of a dirty tricks campaign to undermine her.

Sources at MI5 rubbished reports that intelligence was withheld as the Home Secretary struggled to grasp it.

One said: “Reports suggesting that the Home Secretary and MI5 don’t have a strong working relationship are simply untrue.

“The Home Secretary is briefed daily on intelligence matters in exactly the same way as any previous post holder.”

The backing came as allies said she was being targeted by disgruntled civil servants who did not like being challenged.

One said: “These are dirty tricks being played but they have been foolish to have bandied around things that were completely untrue.”

Ms Patel was said to have had difficult relationships with officials in her ministerial career.

She was reportedly trying to sack permanent secretary at the Home Office Sir Philip Rutnam.

But claims she had squeezed out passport and visas chief Mark Thomson have proved unfounded after it emerged he announced would be leaving before she took up the role.

Her ally said of the MI5 support: “It is saying a lot that she has been back from the top.”

A Government spokesperson said: “The Home Secretary and MI5 have a strong working relationship, and baseless claims to the contrary are both wrong and against the public interest.”

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