Jeremy Clarkson tells Philip Rutnam to ‘grow a pair’ over Priti Patel TV interview

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Jeremy Clarkson has hit out at Sir Philip Rutnam, 55, in his latest column. The Top Gear star has little sympathy for the former civil servant amid Priti Patel bullying claims.

I did start to think, ‘Oh for God’s sake, you’re a grown man – grow a pair’

Jeremy Clarkson

The 60-year-old referenced sitcom Yes Minister as he addressed the ex secretary at the Home Office’s interview.

It comes after Patel, 48, was backed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, despite an inquiry into allegations that she bullied her staff found she had broken ministerial rules.

She was accused of demeaning her staff by shouting and swearing at them, and an inquiry was launched in March.

Speaking of the news, Clarkson claimed it was “a civil servant’s job to stop ministers from doing anything”.

He started: “A senior civil servant who resigned from the Home Office in a huff has said that his former boss, Priti Patel, was horrid.

“Sir Philip Rutnam went on the news this week to say she used to shout and swear and that she was frightening.”

Clarkson continued: “At this point I did start to think, ‘Oh for God’s sake, you’re a grown man – grow a pair’.

“Everyone who’s seen Sir Humphrey in Yes Minister knows that it’s a civil servant’s job to stop ministers from doing anything.”

The programme in question starred Nigel Hawthorne as Humphrey Appleby, and Paul Eddington as clueless MP Jim Hacker.

It followed the latter’s character in the wake of his party taking control of the government, and his role as Minister of Administrative Affairs.

Clarkson finished: “They have to accept that ministers will find this frustrating and that some of the more volatile ones.

“[Who] will occasionally resort to a bit of full volume swearing. Live with it.”

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The inquiry was initially launched after Rutnam resigned earlier this year.

He is suing the government for constructive dismissal, after alleging staff felt Patel had “created fear”.

He later told the BBC he was not asked to be involved in the investigation.

His statment read: “As early as August 2019, the month after her appointment, she was advised that she must not shout and swear at staff.

“I advised her on a number of further occasions between September 2019 and February 2020 about the need to treat staff with respect.”

Patel apologised while speaking to the same broadcaster.

She said: “I am sorry if I have upset people in any way whatsoever.

“That was completely unintentional.”

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