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21 Apr, 2023 09:46

British deputy PM resigns over bullying scandal

An inquiry failed to fully clear Dominic Raab of wrongdoing
British deputy PM resigns over bullying scandal

British Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab has resigned amid a scandal over alleged bullying in the Ministry of Justice, which he headed as secretary, and in other departments of the government.

The Tory MP submitted his resignation letter to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Friday. In explaining the decision, he cited an investigation into the matter by leading employment barrister Adam Tolley and a previous pledge to leave should the inquiry make “any finding of bullying whatsoever.”

Raab noted that the inquiry dismissed all but two complaints about him personally. The Tory heavyweight was accused of belittling staff, driving some to tears or causing them to vomit before meetings, according to media reports. He denied any wrongdoing.

The findings by Tolley were “flawed” and “set a dangerous precedent” for the operation of the government by placing “the threshold for bullying” too low, Raab argued in his letter.

“Ministers must be able to exercise direct oversight with respect to senior officials over critical negotiations conducted on behalf of the British people,” he wrote. They must also be able “to give direct critical feedback on briefings and submissions to senior officials, in order to set standards and drive the reform the public expects from us.”

Raab apologized for “any unintended stress or offense” his subordinates may have felt during interactions with him. Sunak will continue to have his support as the prime minister, he assured.