priti patel bojo
© Reuters / Charlotte Graham Pool via REUTERS
Telegraph writer Allison Pearson has raised eyebrows online after bizarrely arguing in a column that allegations of bullying against UK Home Secretary Priti Patel are unlikely to be true because she is too short to be a bully.

"It does beggar belief that a woman who is barely more than 5ft tall managed to terrorise all those 6ft 3in public school mandarins," Pearson oddly wrote in an article published on Tuesday about the complaints from the cabinet minister's office.


Comment: Or perhaps the more glaring point is that she was able to terrorize them, and what does that say about her?


Patel's critics were quick to point out that bullying doesn't "only consist of a larger person bullying a smaller person," and such a take made it seem that Pearson had "never really left the school playground."




Some cynics speculated that the pundit was intentionally obfuscating the issue to shield Patel from criticism or that she was "pretending" to believe height had something to do with the ability to bully "for money."


The controversy surrounding the article even had 'Napoleon' trending on Twitter as many reminded Pearson of the 'Napoleon complex' theory, which suggests people of a shorter stature overcompensate with domineering behavior - a theory that's been applied to historic authoritarian rulers from from Adolf Hitler to Benito Mussolini.

"Allison Pearson has never heard of a Napoleon complex..." tweeted one person.

"So according to Allison Pearson, all we really needed to help defeat Hitler was a civil servant who was 6ft 3in?" quipped another.




Some slammed Pearson's take as inappropriate given the severity of some of the allegations against her, namely claims that one of her staffers allegedly attempted suicide and later reportedly received a £25,000 payout from the government over the incident.




A report by the government's adviser on ministerial standards, Alex Allan, found that Patel broke ministerial code by "shouting and swearing" at her staff and engaging in "behaviour that can be described as bullying." However, PM Boris Johnson stood by his minister, leading to Allan's resignation. Patel denied allegations of bullying, but said she was "sorry" that her behaviour "upset people," while some of her colleagues defended her as "courteous and kind."