Britain’s Health Secretary Matt Hancock recently defended Priti Patel labelling her as "courteous" following bullying claims made by the country’s top civil servant, Philip Rutman. Rutnam, on February 29 resigned and reportedly said that he intends to sue the government for constructive dismissal. On the other hand, Patel has denied the claims of bullying and mistreating staff, international media reported.
According to media reports, Rutnam said that he was stepping down because he had become the target of 'vicious and orchestrated campaign' against him in Home Secretary Priti Patel's office. However, Hancock, while speaking on a BBC show defended Patel saying that she was “very determined” but also “extremely courteous.” While talking to the UK media outlet, he further said that she was probably closer to where the public is on the issues of law and order than any home secretary in recent history.
Rutnam's resignation also comes after reported tensions between the pair and allegations that Patel mistreated officials and tried to remove Rutnam from her department. Rutanam in a statement also said that he had tried to reconcile the situation with Patel, but despite his efforts, Rutnam said that Patel made no efforts to engage with him to discuss the situation. According to reports, Rutnam said that he even received allegations that Patel's misconduct towards included swearing, belittling people, making unreasonable and repeated demands.
Rutnam has worked in government for 33 years and he believes that Patel's behaviour had created fear and needed some bravery to call out. He reportedly said that it was his duty to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of 35,000 Home Office workers, however, he further added that doing so had 'created tension' between him and Patel. Furthermore, he said that his experience was 'extreme' but part of a 'wider pattern' in government.