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Tuesday 21 April 2020

FDA announces claim for unfair dismissal and whistleblowing against the Home Secretary

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FDA General Secretary Dave Penman has announced the commencement of legal action from former Home Office Permanent Secretary Sir Philip Rutnam, which was first reported by the Guardian’s Rajeev Syal.

Yesterday, Sir Philip, with the support of his legal team and the FDA, submitted a claim to the employment tribunal for unfair (constructive) dismissal and whistleblowing against the Home Secretary.

In his official statement, Penman said: “On 29 February 2020, Sir Philip Rutnam resigned as Permanent Secretary of the Home Office, indicating that he intended to pursue a claim of constructive dismissal. Following his resignation, the FDA instructed Gavin Mansfield QC, Head of Littleton Chambers and employment law specialist, as Counsel to advise Sir Philip, supported by Clive Howard, Senior Principal Lawyer, Employment and Partnership at Slater and Gordon.”

The FDA has supported Sir Philip throughout the period leading up to his resignation and will continue to support him throughout the tribunal process. At the time of Sir Philip’s resignation in February, Penman argued that it demonstrated “the destructive consequences of anonymous briefings against public servants who are unable to publicly defend themselves”.

“He had a choice to resign and go quietly with financial compensation, instead he has chosen to speak out against the attacks on public servants,” Penman added. “I know many thousands of his colleagues will recognise the courage and integrity he is showing in doing so and will applaud his decision.”

The FDA’s statement on the commencement of legal action was also covered by BBC News, the Independent, the Telegraph, the Mirror, MailOnline, the Herald, Huff Post UK and Sky News.

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