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Dominic Raab resigns from Cabinet following bullying probe

21 Apr 2023 4 minute read
Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab. Photo James Manning PA Images

Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab has quit Rishi Sunak’s Cabinet following the conclusion of an inquiry into bullying allegations.

Mr Sunak received the report from senior lawyer Adam Tolley KC’s investigation on Thursday and had been considering the findings since.

In a resignation letter to the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister said: “I am writing to resign from your government, following receipt of the report arising from the inquiry conducted by Adam Tolley KC.

“I called for the inquiry and undertook to resign, if it made any finding of bullying whatsoever. I believe it is important to keep my word.

“It has been a privilege to serve you as Deputy Prime Minister, Justice Secretary and Lord Chancellor.

“I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work as a minister in a range of roles and departments since 2015, and pay tribute to the many outstanding civil servants with whom I have worked.

“Whilst I feel duty-bound to accept the outcome of the inquiry, it dismissed all but two of the claims levelled against me.

“I also believe that its two adverse findings are flawed and set a dangerous precedent for the conduct of good government.”

Damaging

The full inquiry has not yet been published by Downing Street, but Mr Raab in his resignation warned that the probe’s findings would have damaging consequences for Government.

The MP for Esher and Walton said he was “genuinely sorry for any unintended stress or offence that any officials felt, as a result of the pace, standards and challenge that I brought to the Ministry of Justice”.

But he added: “That is, however, what the public expect of ministers working on their behalf.”

He wrote: “Whilst I feel duty-bound to accept the outcome of the inquiry, it dismissed all but two of the claims levelled against me. I also believe that its two adverse findings are flawed and set a dangerous precedent for the conduct of good government.

“First, ministers must be able to exercise direct oversight with respect to senior officials over critical negotiations conducted on behalf of the British people, otherwise the democratic and constitutional principle of ministerial responsibility will be lost.

“Second, ministers must be able to give direct critical feedback on briefings and submissions to senior officials, in order to set the standards and drive the reform the public expect of us.

“Of course, this must be done within reasonable bounds. Mr Tolley concluded that I had not once, in four-and-a-half years, sworn or shouted at anyone, let alone thrown anything or otherwise physically intimidated anyone, nor intentionally sought to belittle anyone.”

Mr Raab warns that “setting the threshold for bullying so low, this inquiry has set a dangerous precedent”.

“It will encourage spurious complaints against ministers, and have a chilling effect on those driving change on behalf of your Government — and ultimately the British people. ”

Improprieties

The Tory MP also complained to Mr Sunak about what he said was a “number of improprieties that came to light during the course of this inquiry”.

He called for an independent review into the “systematic leaking of skewed and fabricated claims to the media in breach of the rules of the inquiry and the Civil Service Code of Conduct, and the coercive removal by a senior official of dedicated Private Secretaries from my Ministry of Justice Private Office, in October of last year”.

He also told Mr Sunak that he remained fully supportive of him and the government.

“You have proved a great Prime Minister in very challenging times, and you can count on my support from the backbenches.”

The eight complaints against Mr Raab were believed to centre on his behaviour as foreign secretary, Brexit secretary and during his first stint as justice secretary.

His exit as Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Secretary leaves a major gap in Mr Sunak’s Cabinet, with speculation about who will replace the loyal Sunak backer.

Mr Raab’s resignation comes months after the Prime Minister moved to sack Nadhim Zahawi as Conservative Party chair amid controversy over his tax affairs, while Sir Gavin Williamson – another Sunak backer – resigned only days into his premiership after it was alleged he sent expletive-laden messages to a former chief whip.

 


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hdavies15
hdavies15
10 months ago

Punished by falling on his own sword ? You are kidding ! Raab will now waltz off and will pick up an assortment of easy money contracts delivering advice, consultancy and in due course non exec appointments. Banning him from such work for say 5 years is the only way to deal with him and his kind.

David Charles pearn
David Charles pearn
10 months ago

It’s a shame they all didn’t follow the karate kid and all resign.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
10 months ago

Dominic Rabid being the bully that he is will continue in the same vein by sniping from the back benches until he ascends like steam from a freshly laid pile of Conservative excrement to the House of Lords when his friend with benefits Rishy Sunak repays his sycophantic loyalty after he as PM is ejected from office like political effluent.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
10 months ago

He should have been sacked over the Afghanistan debacle and his refusal to get off the beach…

BobSnail
BobSnail
10 months ago

So what did he do? Moan at civil servants for not doing their job properly or doing what he told them to do?

hdavies15
hdavies15
10 months ago
Reply to  BobSnail

I seriously dislike Raab and he needed firing, but the other side of the coin in all this is the surge in numbers of feeble, easily offended cry babies occupying senior roles in both public and private sectors. Often it’s the same people that indulge in pulling rank who also howl like babies when they in turn get pushed and shoved.

Llyn
Llyn
10 months ago
Reply to  BobSnail

No if you bothered to read the report he bullied and intimidated staff.

Llyn
Llyn
10 months ago

Rabb has been found to have acted in a bullying and intimidating fashion. I hope that all those Tories and those in the Tory press, including Andrew RT Davies, who during the COVID crises constantly raised mental health issues will be equally concerned for the mental health of all those civil servants that Rabb has destroyed and not in any way try to defend this man.

CapM
CapM
10 months ago

To my knowledge what’s been served up by the media regarding the inquiry so far (maybe it wasn’t in the inquiry’s remit) has indicated whether the standard or type of work Raab insisted his staff do was unrealistic or unreasonable.
Getting a bolloking from your boss for not doing something is one thing.
Getting a bolloking from your boss for not doing something that can’t be done is quite another.

Llyn
Llyn
10 months ago
Reply to  CapM

Completely incorrect. The inquiry, within it’s remit, found conclusively that Rabb had bullied and intimidated colleagues.

CapM
CapM
10 months ago
Reply to  Llyn

I haven’t suggested that it didn’t.

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