TWO North-East MP have defended Priti Patel after reports an investigation found she 'broke the rules for ministers' amidst allegations of bullying.

Conservative MPs Jacob Young and Matt Vickers today tweeted in support of Ms Patel remaining as Home Secretary.

But Labour MPs including the shadow minister for domestic violence, Jess Phillips said it was an "utter disgrace" for any Conservative MP to defend Ms Patel.

A draft report last summer found Ms Patel had breached requirements in the ministerial code to treat civil servants with consideration and respect, according to the BBC.

This week, a report was understood to have concluded that while some of her behaviour broke the rules, even if "unintentionally", her conduct since had been "more positive."

Standards Chief Sir Alex Allan, who today resigned after the Prime Minister Boris Johnson backed Ms Patel, had investigated the claims surrounding Ms Patel's conduct.

In the report, he said Ms Patel "has not consistently met the high standards required by the ministerial code of treating her civil servants with consideration and respect."

Sir Alex concluded that Ms Patel's behaviour - which was said to include some occasions of shouting and swearing – met the definition of bullying adopted by the civil service.

Ms Patel later released a statement saying she was “sorry that my behaviour in the past has upset people” and thanked the Prime Minister for his support.

But today, Conservative MP for Stockton South, Matt Vickers tweeted: "Priti is one of the most hardworking Home Secretaries this country has had.

"She has taken a no nonsense approach to crime, terrorism and trafficking.

"Priti is exactly the person we need in the Home Office."

Meanwhile Conservative MP for Redcar, Jacob Young tweeted that he did not believe Ms Patel was a bully.

He said: "A female, BAME, daughter of immigrants who: speaks out against the “woke” left, won’t vote the way they say she should, wants controlled immigration, dared to become Home Secretary - of course they want to tear her down.

"I don't believe she is a bully - having known Priti Patel for the last three years and worked with her closely for the past year - I think she's a strong and determined woman - not a bully."

Ministers are usually expected to resign if they breach the code, and the PM's decision to stand by Ms Patel sparked fury from opposition MPs.

In response, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said: “It is hard to imagine another workplace in the UK where this behaviour would be condoned by those at the top.”

Jess Phillips, shadow minister for domestic violence, said it was an “utter disgrace” and that any Conservative MP “seeking to defend this is utterly without reason or comprehension”.

Labour MP for Newcastle North, Catherine McKinnell tweeted with the hashtag #OneRuleForThem in reply to a tweet from BBC correspondent Iain Watson on Patel.

Matthew Rycroft, permanent secretary at the Home Office, said relationships between officials and ministers at the department had “improved considerably” but admitted the report made for “difficult reading”.