Priti Patel’s bullying cost the public £340k in payout to victim civil servant

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Priti Patel

The government has settled with former civil servant Sir Philip Rutnam over his claim for unfair dismissal.

Sources close to Sir Philip confirmed to BBC Radio 4’s PM programme that he received £340,000 plus his legal costs.

The ex-Home Office boss quit amid bullying claims against Home Secretary Priti Patel, which she denies.

Rutnam dramatically resigned last February, claiming Patel had masterminded a “vicious and orchestrated briefing campaign” against him.

An inquiry last November found Patel had bullied a number of Home Office civil servants, including Rutnam.

In a statement today, Rutnam said: “I have received excellent support during this process and I would like to express warm thanks to the FDA [union for civil servants] 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.”

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.”

Behind the case.

Sir Philip Rutnam said Home Office staff had come to him with allegations against Ms Patel, including “shouting and swearing” and “belittling people”.

His resignation led the Cabinet Office to launch an inquiry into whether Ms Patel had broken the code governing ministers’ behaviour.

Boris Johnson’s standards chief Sir Alex Allan found that she had – but the PM rejected his findings and kept her in post. Sir Alex resigned in response.

In his report, Sir Alex found Ms Patel’s “approach on occasions has amounted to behaviour that can be described as bullying in terms of the impact felt by individuals.”

“To that extent her behaviour has been in breach of the ministerial code, even if unintentionally,” he concluded.

The FDA union, which represents senior civil servants, has launched legal action to try to get Mr Johnson’s decision overturned at the High Court.

Ms Patel apologised for her alleged behaviour, saying “any upset I have caused was completely unintentional”.

Mr Johnson said he did not think Ms Patel was a bully, and had “full confidence” in her.

On its official website, the government said it “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 spokesperson added.

Mr Thomas-Symonds said Ms Patel still had “very serious questions to answer about her conduct”, and Mr Johnson had “shown terrible judgement”.

“It can’t be right that his adviser on ministerial standards resigned when he found that the home secretary bullied colleagues, while the home secretary herself remained in post,” he added.

Related articles:

Civil servant took an overdose after being bullied by Priti Patel

Boris has a history of ignoring bullying and even threats of violence if it’s his friends doing it.

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