UK: Dominic Raab resigns over bullying report

Britain’s deputy prime minister resigned on Friday ahead of the publication of a report into bullying allegations he claims is “flawed and sets a dangerous precedent for the conduct of good government”

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Thomas Brooke
FILE - Britain's Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab leaves 10 Downing Street, London, Wednesday, April 22, 2020. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, File)

Dominic Raab has resigned as Britain’s deputy prime minister following the conclusion of an inquiry into bullying allegations made against him.

The Conservative MP, who was also justice minister, issued a resignation letter on Friday morning ahead of the publication of the inquiry’s findings. In the letter, Raab criticized what he called the report’s flawed findings, warning they set a “dangerous precedent for the conduct of good government.”

According to Raab, the report upheld claims of bullying by the government minister against colleagues, and while he disagrees with the inquiry’s findings, Raab felt compelled to offer his resignation since he had vowed to do should the inquiry find against him. “It is important to keep my word,” his resignation letter read.

The former minister revealed the inquiry had dismissed all but two claims of bullying by him while in office, and stated the inquiry, led by senior lawyer Adam Tolley KC, did not conclude that Raab had ever intentionally bullied his staff.

“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,” Raab wrote.

“In 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,” he added.

Raab did apologize for any “unintended” stress caused to staff while performing their duties under his stewardship, and attributed this to the “pace and standards” he demanded during a challenging brief tenure as justice minister and in his previous role at the Foreign Office.

According to the Spectator’s Isabel Hardman, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak did not ask for Raab’s resignation despite receiving a copy of the report on Thursday, with some Conservative MPs questioning the extent to which the prime minister is “just a commentator at the side of his own government.”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer used the opportunity to slam the “continual weakness of the prime minister,” insisting Raab should “never have been appointed in the first place,” while the FDA trade union representing civil servants has called on Sunak to “launch an independent inquiry into ministerial bullying” following the findings.

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