Priti Patel’s ‘regret’ at bitter departure of her top official

The Home Secretary said she “deeply cared” about the “wellbeing” of all of her civil servants and valued their professionalism. Sir Philip alleged he had been forced out of his job after a “vicious” campaign against him.

It is, therefore, a time for us all to come together as one team

Priti Patel

The Prime Minister has given Ms Patel his support but the Cabinet Office is investigating whether she broke the ministerial code. 

Ms Patel has not commented publicly on the allegations but Government sources have said she denies them.

In the internal email to Home Office staff, she thanked Sir Philip for his “long and dedicated career of public service” and praised the civil service for the support they gave to ministers. 

The email, co-written by Sir Philip’s acting successor Shona Dunn, adds: “We both regret Sir Philip’s decision to resign. We both deeply value the work that every person in this department does and care about the wellbeing of all our staff.

“It is, therefore, a time for us all to come together as one team. 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.” 

The Cabinet Office is leading an internal inquiry regarding Sir Philip’s claims and whether they represented a breach of the ministerial code. 

Labour has called for the Home Secretary to resign while civil servants’ union the First Division Association wants an independent inquiry.

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