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Top British home office mandarin quits in minister bullying row

LONDON, Feb 29 (Reuters) - The top government official in the British ministry responsible for policing and counter-terrorism resigned on Saturday, saying there was an orchestrated campaign to remove him.

Philip Rutnam quit after reports of tensions between him and Home Secretary Priti Patel, including allegations she mistreated officials. Patel has denied the allegations against her.

"In the last ten days I have been the target of a vicious and orchestrated briefing campaign," he told reporters.

"It has been alleged that I have briefed the media against the Home Secretary. This along with many other claims is completely false. The Home Secretary categorically denied any involvement in this campaign to the Cabinet Office. I regret, I do not believe her."

Rutnam said he plans to sue for constructive dismissal. (Reporting by Andrew MacAskill; Editing by Alexander Smith)