LONDON — The U.K.’s top civil servant warned on Monday that discussions between ministers and officials should “remain private” amid press reports of tensions between the government and departmental staff.
Last week, the Times reported a “toxic clash” between Home Secretary Priti Patel and the top civil servant in her department, Philip Rutnam in which she was accused of bullying staff and trying to get Rutnam fired.
Cabinet Secretary Mark Sedwill, who is in charge of the civil service, said in an email to staff that “candour, confidentiality and courtesy between ministers, special advisers and civil servants was crucial to the trust and confidence on which good government depends,” according to an official.
He warned the “high standards” in the code governing the behavior of the civil service, special advisers and ministers should be adhered to.
Civil servants should be confident they could give “honest, impartial and objective advice on which ministers can rely,” he added.