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‘Priti demanding’ boss? Top UK Home Office official quits vowing to sue govt for ‘bullying him out of the job’

‘Priti demanding’ boss? Top UK Home Office official quits vowing to sue govt for ‘bullying him out of the job’
A senior British Home Office official abruptly resigned, alleging he was forced out of the job. It comes amid reports that his boss, Secretary Priti Patel, demanded a subordinate be sacked on Christmas Eve but faced resistance.

On Saturday, Sir Philip Rutnam announced that he resigned as the Home Office’s permanent secretary, the department’s top civil servant tasked with running it on a day-to-day basis. He told the BBC he will sue the government for constructive dismissal, alleging that he was effectively forced out of office.

In the last 10 days, I have been the target of a vicious and orchestrated briefing campaign.

Rutnam said that he was hit with “completely false” allegations of briefing the media against his boss, Home Secretary Priti Patel. The ex-official noted that Patel denied her involvement in these attacks but said that he does not believe her.

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The abrupt resignation comes after a series of reports about Patel “bullying” subordinates out of jobs and creating an “atmosphere of fear” inside the department. Without citing specific sources, HuffPost UK said that Patel wanted to dismiss Director of Communications Andy Tighe and asked Rutnam to deliver him the news on Christmas Eve.

Rutnam reportedly refused to do so until after New Year’s, believing it would be “too cruel” to sack his colleague during the holidays. His defiance is said to have angered Patel, who then “blacklisted” Rutnam’s staff and began barring them from regular day-to-day meetings, while also trying to have Rutnam sacked.

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Tighe eventually retired earlier this month, while a Home Office spokesperson brushed off reports of Patel mistreating employees as false. Minister of State for Security James Brokenshire, who answers to Patel, told Sky News that his boss was a “demanding” boss but called the accusation of bullying “absolute nonsense.”

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