Home Secretary Priti Patel’s permanent secretary Sir Philip Rutnam has resigned from the Home Office and intends to sue for constructive dismissal.
Sir Philip, who has worked in the civil service for 33 years, made a rare public appearance and said in a statement issued outside his home that there had been a ‘vicious and orchestrated’ campaign against him.
His resignation follows claims that Priti Patel told Sir Philip to get rid of a senior official on Christmas Eve, however the top mandarin refused.
Ms Patel is said to have instructed Sir Philip to move director of communications Andy Tighe out of the department.
It is alleged that Sir Philip declined to carry out the order due to the timing of the request, with Mr Tighe deciding to retire from his role.
The incident between Patel and Sir Philip is though to be one of the main factors that has caused the deterioration of their relationship.