Moment of truth looms for Dominic Raab: Bullying report to deputy prime minister could come TODAY as Tories urge Rishi Sunak to defend him over disputed claims – but officials ‘threaten to quit’ if acquitted
- The minister is questioned about his behavior towards civil servants
Dominic Raab is facing a moment of truth with a report on bullying claims due as early as today.
The deputy prime minister awaits his fate following top lawyer Adam Tolley KC’s inquiry into his treatment of Whitehall officials.
Mr Tolley is expected to hand over his findings to Rishi Sunak shortly, although the report was reportedly yet to reach Downing Street this morning.
Mr. Sunak will make the final decision, but is under pressure from all sides. Some cabinet ministers are urging the prime minister to stand behind his deputy, while officials are reportedly ready to quit if he remains in office.
Mr Raab has denied wrongdoing and his determination to defend his reputation has been underlined by the latest register of ministerial interests.
The document published yesterday states that Mr Raab ‘has engaged lawyers at his own expense’ in connection with the lawyer’s investigation.
Dominic Raab (right) faces a moment of truth with Rishi Sunak (left) as he receives a report on bullying claims as early as today
Mr Raab continues to be questioned by top lawyer Adam Tolley KC about his treatment of Whitehall officials
Mr Raab, who is also Justice Minister, has previously said he is “confident” that he has behaved “in a professional manner” throughout his time in various ministerial positions.
He faces eight formal complaints about his conduct, reportedly involving multiple accusers, from his time at the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry for Exiting the EU.
A cabinet minister told Talk TV that Mr Sunak should keep Mr Raab on ‘standby’.
“We can’t fool our own people just because the civil service says so,” they added.
But there are reports that senior Justice Department officials could leave if Mr Raab is cleared of the charges.
A decision not to sanction him would be “demoralizing” for department staff, The Guardian quoted a source as saying.
Appearing on ITV’s Peston show last night, former Tory chairman Jake Berry said Mr Raab should already have been suspended pending the outcome.
“It seems completely wrong to me that when people undergo this kind of examination, they go on with their jobs,” he said.
He added: ‘Whatever the outcome… I actually think there is a need for a fundamental rethinking of how we deal with these kinds of accusations, both in government against ministers and against MPs.
“It’s a very outdated system that is not what our voters would expect of us.”
Mr Tolley’s investigation into Mr Raab began in November amid lurid allegations over his treatment of officials.
This included the claim, which Mr Raab denies, that he once threw tomatoes from a Pret A Manger salad across a table in a fit of rage.
The lawyer, described as ‘an encyclopaedia of labor law’, is expected to present a factual report to the prime minister.
Mr Sunak will then have to make a decision on whether Mr Raab can continue as cabinet minister.
Downing Street has previously emphasized that Sunak is the ultimate ‘arbitrator’ as to whether there has been a breach of ministerial rules.
The most recent register of ministerial interests states that the deputy prime minister ‘has engaged lawyers at his own expense’ in connection with the investigation