Wednesday, October 27

Priti Patel Reaches Six-Figure Agreement With Former Home Office Chief Philip Rutnam | Civil Service


Priti Patel has reached a six-figure settlement with a senior public official following claims that he was forced to leave his job for intervening in his alleged harassment of co-workers, it has been discovered.

Sir Philip Rutnam, a former permanent secretary of the Home Office, had threatened to take the home secretary to a labor court hearing in September.

He also claimed that he had been fired from his job for defending his staff and that he was suing the government under whistle-blowing laws.

The reward means that Patel and Boris Johnson will no longer face the possibility of testifying in public court. However, it will lead to lawsuits to explain how much has been spent defending the home secretary.

Patel has consistently rejected Rutnam’s claims. A government spokesman said no responsibility had been accepted and that it had been correct to defend the case.

However, a Cabinet Office report released in November pointed to claims that she had yelled and sworn against staff and found that she had violated the ministerial code, even if it was not intentional.

The Rutnam case was the first time that a secretary of state has been brought before a labor court by a former permanent secretary, the highest-ranking official in a government department.

Rutnam said in a statement issued through his union: “I am pleased to say that the government today resolved the claims that I filed against them and that they were due to be heard in a labor court in September.

“This settlement resolves my own case. The FDA continues to investigate the broader issues that have been raised in separate proceedings, ”he said.

Patel will be under pressure to reveal the full amount paid to settle the case, as well as the costs. It was understood that Rutnam had witnessed several incidents which, according to him, showed that Witham’s MP was intimidating staff.

He resigned from his position as permanent secretary of the Ministry of the Interior on February 29, 2020 and subsequently initiated a judicial process against the Ministry of the Interior.

At a dramatic press conference hastily staged in his garden, Rutnam, a career official, told the media that he had become the “target of a vicious and orchestrated campaign against him” that accused Patel of orchestrating.

Rutnam’s case was expected to focus on his claims that in late 2019 and early 2020, he challenged Patel’s alleged mistreatment of senior officials at the Home Office, and was later kicked out of his job through meetings. anonymous informative.

Reports claimed that a senior Interior Ministry official collapsed after a contentious meeting with Patel. She was also accused of having successfully asked another senior department official to transfer from her job.

Subsequently, Rutnam wrote to all senior department officials highlighting the dangers of stress in the workplace. He also made it clear that they couldn’t be expected to do unrealistic work outside of office hours.

After a report in the Times highlighted the tensions between Rutnam and Patel, sources close to Patel were quoted in various newspapers as saying that Rutnam should resign. In a Times article, the Home Secretary’s allies said he should be stripped of his pension, another Telegraph source said he was nicknamed Dr. No for his negative ideas, while one in the Sun compared him to Eeyore the donkey. Winnie’s pessimistic. Bear.

At the time, the prime minister’s official spokesman said Johnson had full confidence in the home secretary and the civil service, although the same assurance was not given to Rutnam specifically.

It later emerged that Patel had also been accused of intimidation in two other government departments: Dfid and DWP.

Under pressure from the claims, Johnson ordered a cabinet office investigation last year, which was conducted by Sir Alex Allan. He wrote a report sent to the prime minister saying that Patel’s behavior amounted to intimidation and was therefore a violation of the ministerial code.

As the sole arbiter of the rules, the prime minister supported Patel and concluded, in his opinion, that she had not violated the ministerial code.

In response to Rutnam’s statement, a Home Office spokesperson said: “The Government and Sir Philip’s representatives have jointly concluded that it is best for both parties to reach an agreement at this stage rather than further preparing for a Tribunal. Labor. The Government does not accept responsibility in this matter and it was correct that the Government defended the case ”.


www.theguardian.com

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