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Sat Feb 29, 2020, 04:34 PM

Home Office chief Sir Philip Rutnam quits over Priti Patel 'bullying'

Rutnam announces plans to sue government for constructive dismissal over ‘vicious and orchestrated campaign’ against him
Rutnam was emotional as he said he would step down after 33 years because he had become the “target of vicious and orchestrated campaign against him,” which he accused Patel of orchestrating.
Rutnam made clear his anger in his statement on Saturday, which he read to the BBC outside an address in north London. He said he had received allegations that Patel’s conduct had included belittling people and making unreasonable demands.

He said: “One of my duties as permanent secretary was to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of our 35,000 people. This created tension with the home secretary and I have encouraged her to change her behaviours.

“I have received allegations that her conduct has included shouting and swearing, belittling people, making unreasonable and repeated demands – behaviour that created fear and that needed some bravery to call out.”

He claimed the Home Office offered him a financial settlement to avoid his public resignation, and he said he hoped his stand “may help in maintaining the quality of government in this country”.


The Tories' house rag, The Telegraph, has wasted no time launching a counter-spin operation, hot from the desk of Stephen Pollard:

Sir Philip Rutnam’s real agenda was surely ousting Priti Patel

This briefing war is just the latest battle in a long history of civil servants v Home Secretaries

The knives were out for Priti Patel from the moment she was appointed Home Secretary last July. Ms Patel is not one of those ministers who puts her head down, keeps quiet and does what she’s told. She makes waves – and enemies – wherever she goes.

None of us really knows what transpired between Ms Patel and Sir Philip Rutnam, her now departed permanent secretary. Sir Philip has taken the extraordinary step of making his grievances public. According to him, Ms Patel is an all-round monster, responsible for days of hostile stories about the department. He says he will now sue the government for constructive dismissal. Needless to say, Ms Patel denies these allegations....


The rest of the Telegraph's story fades into blah behind a paywall, but you no doubt get the drift.

It remains to be seen whether another of the Telegraph's better-known and more colourful columnists will be able to find the time to drag himself away from not holding COBRA meetings about widespread flooding, instead understandably preoccupied with singing onstage at a Tory party fundraiser, to offer his view on the kerfuffle in the Home Office.

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Reply Home Office chief Sir Philip Rutnam quits over Priti Patel 'bullying' (Original post)
Denzil_DC Feb 2020 OP
muriel_volestrangler Feb 2020 #1
Denzil_DC Feb 2020 #2
Denzil_DC Feb 2020 #3
T_i_B Mar 2020 #4

Response to Denzil_DC (Original post)

Sat Feb 29, 2020, 04:52 PM

1. If Rutnam wanted to oust her, he'd emphasise her incompetence

Priti "what is counter-terrorism?" Patel does not belong in charge of counter-terrorism. That is what will turn Tories (who are up for a bit of bullying of civil servants any day) against her.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #1)

Sat Feb 29, 2020, 05:16 PM

2. I've no idea whether Rutnam's employment tribunal case will be a hard-fought one,

but the prospect does throw up some interesting possibilities, e.g.:

Sam Coates Sky

The findings of the investigation into Patel’s breach of ministerial code that led to her resignation under Theresa May have never been published.

Cd it comes out through disclosure process as pertinent evidence to her conduct in any employment tribunal?

Whatever, it looks like Rutnam's decided the gloves are off, and he no doubt knows where a lot of skeletons are buried ...

A cynical sidelight:

Robert Peston

I am sure just a total coincidence but certainly convenient that the home office perm sec’s angry divorce from government is now fighting with the PM’s marriage and imminent baby for front page coverage

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Response to Denzil_DC (Original post)

Sat Feb 29, 2020, 06:16 PM

3. More trouble brewing ...

iain watson

The @FDAGenSec tells @BBCPM that Sir Philip has garnered 45-50 allegations of briefing against him in the past few days and the union will be supporting his legal action
iain watson ✔ @iainjwatson

Head of the FDA - the senior civil servants' union - says it is time for 'new leadership' at the Home Office
Dave Penman @FDAGenSec

Sir Philip had a choice to resign & go quietly with financial compensation,instead he has chosen to speak out against the attacks on public servants. I know many thousands of his colleagues will recognise the courage & integrity he is showing in doing so. https://mailchi.mp/2fe725537f0c/response-to-home-secretary-bullying-allegations-1751133

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Response to Denzil_DC (Original post)

Sun Mar 1, 2020, 07:29 AM

4. I expect Patel to cling to office

Even if the courts find against her. Tories seem to think they are above the rules that apply to everyone else.

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