British deputy PM resigns over bullying scandals
UK Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Secretary Dominic Raab has resigned following the conclusion of an investigation into allegations of bullying and intimidation.
Raab posted on Twitter his letter of resignation sent to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. In it he writes that the investigation sets a dangerous precedent, but he remains on the government’s side.
“I called for the inquiry and I undertook to resign, if it made any finding of bullying whatsoever. I believe it is important to keep my word,”
Mr Raab wrote.
At the same time, he noted that “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.”
Raab’s resignation makes him the third senior politician, after Minister of State without Portfolio Gavin Williamson and Conservative Party chairman Nadhim Zahawi, to resign over personal conduct issues since Rishi Sunak moved into Downing Street in October.
PM Rishi Sunak has appointed senior lawyer Adam Tolley KC to conduct an independent investigation into the complaints following a spate of negative media reports. In line with rules, the PM will bring the final decision in light of the findings reached by the inquiry.
Raab has been under investigation for five months over a total of eight formal complaints relating to his behaviour during his previous tenure as foreign secretary, Brexit secretary and justice secretary.
The deputy prime minister and justice secretary denies accusations. He repeatedly stated that he believes “heart and soul” that he is not a bully but defended his “forthright” approach to his work.
Unnamed civil servants accused Raab of terrorising his colleagues to the point that they often cried or vomited before meetings. The minister was also accused of throwing tomatoes in his room in a fit of anger, which Raab officially denied.
Mr Raab was previously UK foreign secretary under Boris Johnson, but was removed in 2021 after his ministry mishandled the UK’s withdrawal from Afghanistan. He was also Brexit minister for a short period under Theresa May, but resigned from this post in protest over her flawed Brexit deal.