Home Office settles case accusing Patel of 'vicious' campaign against official

The Home Office has reached a settlement with a former top official who accused Priti Patel of a ‘vicious’ campaign of briefing against him.

The value of the settlement has not been made public, but is said to have been “substantial.”

Sir Philip Rutnam, who quit as the Home Office’s permanent secretary after accusing the Home Secretary of a “vicious and orchestrated briefing campaign” against him, said the Government has settled the claims he brought against it.

He said in a statement: “I am pleased to say that the Government has today settled the claims that I brought against them and which were due to be heard in an employment tribunal in September.

“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.

“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.”

Sir Philip Rutnam said the Home Office had settled the case

The Government said it “regrets the circumstances surrounding Sir Philip’s resignation”.

In a statement posted online, the Government said: “Sir Philip Rutnam resigned from his post as permanent secretary of the Home Office on February 29 2020 and subsequently began legal proceedings against the Home Office.

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“Joining the civil service in 1987, Sir Philip is a distinguished public servant. During this period he held some of the most senior positions in the Civil Service including as permanent secretary of the Department for Transport and the Home Office.”

The statement continued: “The then cabinet secretary wrote to Sir Philip when he resigned. This letter recognises his devoted public service and excellent contribution; the commitment and dedication with which he approached his senior leadership roles; and the way in which his conduct upheld the values inherent in public service.

“The Government regrets the circumstances surrounding Sir Philip’s resignation. The Government and Sir Philip are now pleased that a settlement has been reached to these proceedings.”

A Home Office Source spokesperson added: ““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.”



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