Sir Philip Rutnam gets £340,000 payout over his claim for unfair dismissal: report


Sir Philip Rutnam
Sir Philip Rutnam

THE former Home Office chief Sir Philip Rutnam received £340,000 plus his legal costs over his claim for unfair dismissal as the government settled the case, reported the BBC.

Sources close to Sir Philip confirmed to BBC Radio 4 that he got the compensation.

The claims had been due to be heard at an employment tribunal this September.

In a statement issued via the FDA civil servants’ union, which represents senior civil servants, Sir Philip said he was pleased by the settlement.

He quit the office amid bullying claims against home secretary Priti Patel, which she denied.

Sir Philip said that he had been the victim of a ‘vicious and orchestrated’ briefing campaign after trying to get Patel to change her behaviour.

He was earning more than £150,000 a year as Home Office permanent secretary.

The BBC report said that both the parties had jointly concluded that it is in both parties’ best interests to reach a settlement at this stage.

“The government does not accept liability in this matter and it was right that the government defended the case,” a spokesperson said.

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

Prime minister Boris Johnson’s standards chief Sir Alex Allan’s report found out that Patel’s approach on occasions has amounted to behaviour that can be described as ‘bullying in terms of the impact felt by individuals’.

But Johnson rejected the report and kept Patel in post. Sir Alex resigned in response.

Later, Patel apologised for her alleged behaviour, saying ‘any upset I have caused was completely unintentional’.

The FDA union has launched legal action to try to get Johnson’s decision overturned at the High Court.

Labour’s shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds has written to Patel to ask how much taxpayers’ money has been spent settling the case, the report added.

He also asked whether any other bullying cases have been opened by the Home Office since July 2019.

“This whole episode continues to raise serious questions about standards of behaviour, responsibility and leadership at the highest level of government. Patel still had very serious questions to answer about her conduct, and Johnson had shown terrible judgement,” said Thomas-Symonds.

“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.”

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