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Home Secretary Gets Warning Over Senior Civil Servant Clashes


Sir David Normington, a former permanent secretary for the Home Office, has warned that the government’s timetable for a new immigration system would be ‘tight’, according to The Guardian.


He also noted that the Home Office is suffering due to clashed between Home Secretary Priti Patel, and current permanent secretary Sir Phillip Rutnam, reportedly saying the department was experiencing a number of ‘tropical storms’.


Sir David’s intervention came about as a review of the Windrush scandal had been toned down, with the removal of a portion branding the Home Office as ‘institutionally racist’. He urged Patel to work closely with Sir Phillip.


“In those circumstances the best thing is for the home secretary and the permanent secretary to be absolutely in lockstep, working together, bringing their different perspectives to get through the latest storm,” he said.


Speaking about the proposed Australian-style immigration points system, Sir David said: “I am sure they have had some conversations about how tight it is inside the Home Office. There is a lot to do. If you read what was published this week there is still a lot of detail to be put in place.


“Staff will have to be trained and retrained, guidance will have to be issued for employers and the public. There will need to be online application systems. That is a lot to do in 10 months.”


He has stressed that the Home Secretary needs to works well with senior civil servants who have much greater experience of implementing such systems.


Patel has clashed with the senior civil servant at the Home Office and has been accused of encouraging “behaviour outside the rule of law”, according to reports.


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