Why has Dominic Raab resigned as Britain's deputy prime minister?

A 48-page report lays out findings into more than a dozen complaints filed against the deputy PM's behaviour

By Reuters

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British Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Secretary Dominic Raab exits Number 10 Downing Street, on the day of a cabinet meeting, in London, Britain, October 26, 2022. — Reuters file
British Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Secretary Dominic Raab exits Number 10 Downing Street, on the day of a cabinet meeting, in London, Britain, October 26, 2022. — Reuters file

Published: Fri 21 Apr 2023, 4:27 PM

Last updated: Fri 21 Apr 2023, 4:31 PM

British Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab resigned on Friday following an independent investigation into allegations that he bullied colleagues.

WHAT DOES THE BULLYING INVESTIGATION REPORT SAY?

A 48-page report by lawyer Adam Tolley lays out the findings into more than a dozen complaints about Raab's behaviour.

Tolley's conclusions focus on three sets of complaints against Raab and finds that in two of those Raab did act in an intimidating manner with colleagues — a type of behaviour that the ministerial code characterises as bullying.

Of one complaint relating to Raab's time as Britain's foreign minister from 2019-2021, Tolley says Raab made a "legitimate management choice" based on a genuine view about others' work.

However, he adds Raab acted in an intimidating way, "in the sense of unreasonably and persistently aggressive conduct in the context of a work meeting".

Of complaints relating to Raab's most recent role as justice minister - an additional post he held as deputy prime minister - Tolley says Raab acted in an intimidating manner during meetings with policy officials.

He acted "in the sense of going further than was necessary or appropriate in delivering critical feedback, and also insulting, in the sense of making unconstructive critical comments about the quality of work done", Tolley says.

WHAT DID RAAB SAY IN HIS RESIGNATION LETTER?

Raab told Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in the letter the inquiry had dismissed all but two of the claims levelled against him and that it had set a dangerous precedent for government ministers.

He gave an apology: "I am 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."

'DANGEROUS PRECEDENT'

"In setting the threshold for bullying so low, this inquiry has set a dangerous precedent," Raab said.

"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 also said he raised with Sunak "a number of improprieties that came to light during the course of this inquiry" and called for a separate review.

Raab said he would remain supportive of Sunak and the government.

'I NEVER ONCE SWORE OR SHOUTED'

Writing in the Daily Telegraph newspaper following his resignation, Raab defended his conduct and said he had endured "a Kafkaesque saga".

He said Tolley had concluded that over four and a half years "I never once swore or shouted at officials, let alone threatened, targeted or threw anything at them".

He said that although Tolley concluded that he had abused his position relating to the foreign office complaint, the report had not found that it was intentional.

WHAT DID SUNAK SAY?

Sunak said he accepted Raab's resignation with great sadness but said there had been shortcomings in the way the initial reports of concerns about Raab were handled.

"But it is clear that there have been shortcomings in the historic process that have negatively affected everyone involved. We should learn from this how to better handle such matters in future," Sunak wrote in a letter to Raab.

WHEN DID THE INQUIRY BEGIN?

Raab requested the investigation in November into two formal complaints about his behaviour. A month later it was widened to include five further formal complaints.

Raab had said he was confident he had behaved professionally throughout. Sunak initially defended his deputy when the allegations surfaced.


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