UK Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab resigns Over Bully Controversy
Friday saw the resignation of British Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab from the government as a result of a congressional inquiry into claims that he had intimidated others.
Prior to the report’s release, Mr. Raab submitted his letter of resignation to the prime minister.
Just two weeks before the English local council elections, when Mr. Sunak’s Conservatives are expected to do poorly, his departure is a setback.
This is the most recent scandal to result in the resignation of a senior minister under Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
It will be difficult for Mr. Sunak to recover the prospects of the governing Conservative Party if he loses the third senior minister in the last six months due to personal behaviour.
Additionally, it is a big humiliation for him because he entered Downing Street in October pledging an honest government. In his letter, Mr. Raab stated that he “called for the inquiry and committed to resign if it made any finding of bullying whatsoever,” adding that “I believe it is important to keep my word.”
In response, Mr. Sunak said that he accepted Raab’s departure with great sadness but emphasized the need for ministers to uphold the highest standards.
Although Mr. Raab had no legal authority in his role as deputy prime minister, he would fill in for the leader if he was unable to attend parliament.
He nonetheless supported Mr. Sunak’s final summer as he ran for prime minister and was a close political comrade.
Following Boris Johnson’s scandal-plagued administration and Liz Truss‘s abrupt departure after less than two months due to her disastrous economic policies, the resignation will not significantly change how the public views his government.
Several government officials testified during the five-month probe into Mr. Raab’s behavior on complaints of bullying at three distinct departments.
The independent study by attorney Adam Tolley concluded that while working for the Foreign Office, Mr. Raab had displayed “intimidating” and “persistently aggressive” behavior.
He had gone “further than was required or appropriate in delivering critical feedback and also insulting, in the sense of making detrimental criticisms about the quality of the work done,” according to the report, while working for the Justice Ministry.
Since the revelation of the probe, “(Raab) has been able to control this level of ‘abrasiveness,'” Tolley stated.
He ought to have changed his strategy sooner, the attorney continued.
In November, Mr. Raab asked for the investigation after government officials filed formal complaints about his conduct.
He claimed he was “duty-bound” to accept the investigation’s findings, but he also vehemently defended his actions.
He claimed that all but two of the allegations against him had been rejected by the investigation, which found that he had not screamed, cursed, or physically intimidated anyone once in the preceding four and a half years.
In spite of expressing regret for any unintended anxiety or offense, Mr. Raab claimed that the decision to set such a low bar for bullying “set a dangerous precedent” for the practice of effective government.
In the note, he said that this would “have a chilling effect on those driving change on behalf of your government — and ultimately the British people.”
Mr. Raab brought up the two instances where it was determined that he had been the victim of bullying: one occurred at the Foreign Office when he was dealing with a senior diplomat’s handling of the Brexit negotiations over Gibraltar, and the other occurred when he provided critical feedback during a previous position at the Ministry of Justice from 2021 to 2022.
The leader of the main opposition Labour Party, Keir Starmer, accused Mr. Sunak of “weakness” for not dismissing his deputy instead of allowing him to resign.
Gavin Williamson, another of Mr. Sunak’s senior ministers, resigned in November following claims of bullying, and the prime minister fired Nadhim Zahawi, the chair of the Conservative Party, in January after it was determined that he had broken the ministerial code by being upfront about his tax affairs.
The parliament’s standards watchdog is looking into Mr. Sunak’s conduct in relation to whether he correctly disclosed his wife’s ownership of a daycare business that stands to gain from the new government policy.