Home Business News Priti Patel facing pressure over bullying claims by Sir Philip Rutnam

Priti Patel facing pressure over bullying claims by Sir Philip Rutnam

by LLB Reporter
1st Mar 20 12:06 pm

The home secretary Priti Patel is under mounting pressure to respond to accusations that she is “belittling” to people.

The former top civil servant, Sir Philip Rutnam made a dramatic resignation on Saturday and gave damning criticism of Patel and accused her of mounting a “vicious and orchestrated” campaign.

Sir Philip said on Saturday in a televised statement, he had received reports of Priti Patel “swearing, belittling people and making unreasonable and repeated demands,” towards Home Office staff.

Sir Keir Starmer said, “The Home Secretary has a duty to come to Parliament on Monday to explain the allegations made about her own conduct.”

He added, “There are now urgent questions that must be answered and steps that need to be taken.”

Sir Philip further said the campaign against him included “false” claims he briefed the press over Patel.

He said, “The Home Secretary categorically denied any involvement in this campaign to the Cabinet Office.

“I regret I do not believe her. She has not made the effort I would expect to dissociate herself from the comments.

“Even despite this campaign I was willing to effect a reconciliation with the Home Secretary.

“But despite my efforts to engage with her, Priti Patel has made no effort to engage with me to discuss this.

“I believe these events give me very strong grounds to claim constructive, unfair dismissal and I will be pursuing that claim in the courts.”

Sir Philip added that his experience “has been extreme but I consider there is evidence it was part of a wider pattern of behaviour.”

“One of my duties as permanent secretary was to protect the health, safety and well-being 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.

“I know that resigning in this way will have serious implications for me personally, the Cabinet Office offered me a financial settlement that would have avoided this outcome.

“I am aware that there will continue to be briefing against me now I have made this decision, but I am hopeful that at least it may not now be directed towards my colleagues or the department.

“This has been a very difficult decision, but I hope that my stand may help in maintaining the quality of government in our country, which includes hundreds of thousands of civil servants, loyally dedicated to delivering this government’s agenda.”

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