POLITICS
04/03/2021 16:22 GMT | Updated 04/03/2021 16:24 GMT

Priti Patel Reaches Settlement With Former Home Office Chief

Philip Rutnam quit as permanent secretary claiming constructive dismissal amid bullying allegations.

Priti Patel has reached a settlement with the Home Office’s former top civil servant, after he accused her of a “vicious and orchestrated briefing campaign” against him.

Sir Philip Rutnam began proceedings against the home secretary last year after quitting his post in February amid allegations of her bullying behaviour.

An employment tribunal was due to hear the case in September.

But in a statement on Thursday he thanked his union and said the government has settled the claims he brought against it.

“I have received excellent support during this process and I would like to express warm thanks to the FDA and to my legal team, Slater and Gordon and Gavin Mansfield QC,” he said.

“I also want to record my appreciation and thanks to the many individuals, known and unknown to me, who have expressed their support throughout.

“This settlement resolves my own case. The FDA is continuing to pursue in separate proceedings the wider issues that have been raised. I now look forward to the next stages of my career.”

A Home Office spokesperson said: “The government and Sir Philip’s representatives have jointly concluded that it is in both parties’ best interests to reach a settlement at this stage rather than continuing to prepare for an employment tribunal.

“The government does not accept liability in this matter and it was right that the government defended the case.”

Despite an internal Whitehall investigation later finding the home secretary guilty of bullying, Boris Johnson chose not to ask her to resign.

Patel kept her job after saying she was “sorry that my behaviour in the past has upset people”.