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Saturday 29 February 2020

Response to Sir Philip Rutnam's resignation

Responding to Sir Philip Rutnam's resignation, FDA General Secretary Dave Penman said:

"Sir Philip’s decision to resign and claim constructive dismissal demonstrates once again the destructive consequences of anonymous briefings against public servants who are unable to publicly defend themselves. This cowardly practice is not only ruining lives and careers, but at a time when the Home Office is being tasked with delivering a demanding Government agenda on immigration, and preparing for a public health emergency, it has diverted energy and resource in to responding to unfounded accusations from sources claiming to be allies of the Home Secretary.

"The FDA has supported Sir Philip throughout this period and will continue to support him in his claim for constructive dismissal. 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. 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 Home Office now needs to find new leadership at a time when it needs stability. Those who engage in anonymous briefings need to bear the responsibility for this destructive behaviour. Only the Prime Minister can put a stop to this behaviour and unless he does so, he will have to accept his own responsibility for the consequences."

Notes for editors
1. The FDA is the union for senior managers and professionals in public service, representing more than 18,000 members at grades HEO and above. Membership includes senior civil servants, government policy advisors, prosecutors, diplomats, tax professionals, economists, solicitors and other professionals working across the Government and the NHS.
2. The FDA (formerly the First Division Association) should be referred to simply as "The FDA" and can be described as "the senior public servants' union".
3. The FDA can be found on Twitter @FDA_union. General Secretary Dave Penman tweets as @FDAGenSec.
4. For more information contact:
FDA Communications Officer Tommy Newell on 020 7401 5588, 07738 729 145 or tommy@fda.org.uk
FDA Head of Communications Kay Hender on 020 7401 5586 or 07980 700 747 or kay@fda.org.uk

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