Christine Pratt ‘still vague’ on Downing Street bullying claims
I have just been interviewing Christine Pratt of the National Bullying Helpline.
The patron Professor Cary Cooper, who resigned from her charity this morning, had been in contact with her a couple of times yesterday, she said, and was unhappy with the breach of confidentiality involved in giving interviews about people from specific offices.
She is still a bit vague about just how many complaints came through to her organisation from No. 10.
She insists she took one personal call from someone and did an “audit trail” to prove they genuinely worked directly for Gordon Brown.
She repeated her allegation that she had also taken calls from two people who work “in the deputy prime minister’s office” in “the last eighteen months.”
I asked if she accepted that there hadn’t been a deputy prime minister since the summer of 2007 when John Prescott stood down from the job. She seemed not to have realised that but repeated the allegation.
I asked if she had received any complaints from people working for David Cameron or Nick Clegg and she said a categorical “no.”
She then told me as she was leaving that “of course, I can’t know that because all our callers have confidential calls that stay confidential.”
This is all a sort of gift to No. 10, but the row itself about the National Bullying Helpline keeps damaging stories about Gordon Brown in the headlines even if it suggests that some of the allegations, at least, may not be watertight.