A TOP civil servant has quit after a public row with Home Secretary Priti Patel.

Sir Philip Rutnam's departure comes after a series of clashes with the Witham MP, who it is claimed was "absolutely livid" about allegations she bullied staff and is distrusted in the home office.

On Saturday morning Sir Philip read a statement on BBC News which said: "I have this morning resigned as permanent secretary of the Home Office. I take this decision with great regret after a career of 33 years.

"I am making this statement now because I will be issuing a claim against the Home Office for constructive dismissal.

"In the last 10 days I have been the target of a vicious and orchestrated briefing campaign.

"It has been alleged that I have briefed the media against the Home Secretary.

"This along with many other claims is completely false."

He added: "The Home Secretary categorically denied any involvement in this campaign to the Cabinet Office.

"I regret I do not believe her. She has not made the effort I would expect to dissociate herself from the comments.

"Even despite this campaign I was willing to effect a reconciliation with the Home Secretary.

"But despite my efforts to engage with her, Priti Patel has made no effort to engage with me to discuss this.

"I believe these events give me very strong grounds to claim constructive, unfair dismissal and I will be pursuing that claim in the courts."

Sir Philip's decision to step down follows news of an alleged row with Patel.

The Home Secretary reportedly demanded the removal of the permanent secretary, who is said to have raised concerns about her behaviour.