Priti Patel expresses ‘regret’ at resignation of Home Office mandarin

Home Secretary Priti Patel has expressed her “regret” at the decision of the senior civil servant at the Home Office to quit and urged staff in the department to come together as “one team”.

Sir Philip Rutnam dramatically announced at the weekend that he was standing down as permanent secretary, claiming constructive dismissal and accusing Ms Patel of bullying her subordinates.

The BBC reported that in a joint email to staff written with Sir Philip’s interim successor Shona Dunn, Ms Patel insisted they cared about the wellbeing of all employees.

They expressed their gratitude to the staff for their continuing hard work and “commitment to deliver the Government’s priorities”.

Sir Philip Rutnam accused Ms Patel of bullying Home Office staff (Helen William/PA)

“We both deeply value the work that every person in this department does and care about the well-being of all our staff. It is therefore a time for us all to come together as one team,“ they wrote.

“We also recognise the importance of candour, confidentiality and courtesy in building trust and confidence between ministers and civil servants.

“Both of us are fully committed to making sure the professionalism you would expect to support this is upheld.”

They added: “We both regret Sir Philip’s decision to resign. He had a long and dedicated career of public service for which we thank him.”

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