Dominic Raab Resigns: Bullying Report Found He Acted In An 'Intimidating' Manner

The former deputy prime minister engaged in "unreasonably and persistently aggressive conduct".
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Dominic Raab behaved in an “intimidating” manner and engaged in “unreasonably and persistently aggressive conduct”, the report into allegations he bullied staff found.

Raab resigned as deputy prime minister and justice secretary on Friday morning after the results of the investigation into his behaviour was handed to Rishi Sunak yesterday morning.

But the veteran Tory minister reacted angrily to conclusions drawn by senior lawyer Adam Tolley KC.

Raab said said he felt “duty bound” to quit but sharply criticised the report as “flawed” for “setting the threshold for bullying so low”.

In his lengthy report, Tolley said Raab had “acted in a way which was intimidating, in the sense of unreasonably and persistently aggressive in the context of a workplace meeting”.

“His conduct also involved an abuse or misuse of power in a way that undermines or humiliates,” Tolley said.

“In particular, he went beyond what was reasonably necessary in order to give effect to his decision and introduced a punitive element.

“His conduct was bound to be experienced as undermining or humiliating by the affected individual, and it was so experienced.”

Raab was found to have described the work of officials as “utterly useless” and “woeful” while he was justice secretary.

He was said to try and make officials stop talking by “extending his hand directly out towards another person’s face” and “the use of a finger extended downwards to make a particular point”.

“Another example of such an allegation was loud banging of the table to make a point,” the report said.

In his letter of resignation, Raab said the investigation would “encourage spurious complaints against ministers”.

“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,” he said.

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

In a letter to Raab, Sunak praised his close ally for his work in government and his loyalty.

“I will always be grateful for your steadfast personal support during last year’s Conservative Party leadership contest from the day you introduced me at the launch to the last day of the contest,” the PM said.

“The subsequent dedication, commitment and loyalty with which you have discharged your responsibilities as deputy prime minister has been typical of your belief in public service.”

Keir Starmer said Sunak’s failure to sack Raab, instead allowing him to resign, demonstrated the prime minister’s weakness. “He should never have appointed him in the first place,” the Labour leader said.

A total of 44 pieces of written evidence and 66 interviews were taken into consideration by Tolley.


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