Both the BBC and the National Bullying Helpline, run by Christine Pratt, have been criticised over claims that staff at Number 10 used the service to alledge that they were being bullied.
The BBC hastily broadcast an interview with Mrs Pratt yesterday in which she made the allegations, apparently breaching confidences in the process, but later cast doubt on the claims, highlighting the group’s links with the Conservative Party. Further investigations reveal that the group may not be as national as the name implies.
Number 10 also confirmed that they had not been contacted by the National Bullying Helpline at any time, and questioned whether the group was simply seeking publicity. It has however since emerged that Mrs Pratt was in communication with the Conservatives over the allegations, though it is unclear whether this was before or after the allegations were made.
Christine Pratt was also criticised by Bullying UK, a more representative anti-bullying group, who issued a statement saying:
“It’s hard to imagine a more serious breach of confidentiality. And it’s extremely concerning that we’ve had emails and Tweets (Twitter messages) from people who think that this charity is responsible.
“We’re not, we’re disgusted and upset and we’re writing to the Charity Commission today to complain about the National Bullying Helpline.
“In the meantime, we suggest Mrs Pratt considers her position, given the damage she has caused to the anti-bullying sector where confidentiality is paramount.”