British Deputy Prime Minister resigns after bullying investigation – KGET 17

LONDON (AP) — British Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab resigned involuntarily on Friday after an independent investigation found he mistreated civil servants, although he criticized the report as “flawed.”

Raab’s announcement came a day after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak received the findings of an investigation into eight formal complaints that Raab, who is also justice secretary, abused staff members during his previous tenure in that office and while he was Britain’s foreign secretary and Brexit secretary.

Lawyer Adam Tolley, who led the inquest, said Raab “acted in a manner that was terrifying”, was “unreasonably and persistently aggressive” and “introduced a punitive element” into his leadership style.

“His conduct also involved abuse or misuse of power in a way that undermines or humiliates,” Tolley wrote in the 48-page report. “His behavior must have been experienced as undermining or humiliating by the person affected, and it was.”

Raab, 49, denied claims he belittled and belittled his staff and said he had “conducted himself professionally at all times”, but said he was resigning because he had promised to do so if the bullying complaints were substantiated.

The investigation established two findings of mistreatment against him and dismissed the others, Raab said in his resignation. He called the findings “flawed” and said the investigation “set a dangerous precedent” by “setting such a low threshold for bullying”.

Raab said he resigned because he was “obliged” to resign after making a promise.

Sunak said he accepted the resignation “with great sadness”, in a letter praising the great deal of work Raab had done. He also referred to “shortcomings” in the investigation, which he said “had a negative impact on everyone involved.”

The resignation spared Sunak the difficult task of deciding the fate of his top deputy.

Had he sacked Raab, he would have been open to criticism for appointing him despite allegedly being warned about Raab’s behaviour; if he had kept him in the job, he would have been criticized for failing to deliver on his promise to restore integrity to the Conservative government.

Sunak received the investigation report on Thursday morning and did not immediately make a decision. Spokesman Max Blain, speaking before Raab’s resignation, said Sunak still had “full confidence” in Raab as he reviewed the report.

The Ministerial Code of Conduct requires Ministers to treat people with respect and to have appropriate and appropriate relationships with colleagues, civil servants and staff. He says that harassment, discrimination and bullying will not be tolerated.

Sunak’s delay in not acting quickly, as promised, gave his political opponents an opportunity to attack him for his intransigence.

Opposition Labor leader Keir Starmer criticized Sunak for not sacking Raab.

“What I think this shows is the continued weakness of the prime minister,” Starmer told broadcasters. “He should never have appointed him, along with other members of the cabinet who should not have been appointed, and then he did not dismiss him. Even today, Raab resigned, not the acting Prime Minister.”

Raab was elected to parliament in 2010 and tried unsuccessfully to become leader of the Conservative Party in 2019 before throwing his support behind Boris Johnson. Appointed Deputy Prime Minister under Johnson, he briefly took over the government when Johnson was hospitalized with COVID-19 in April 2020.

Raab said in his letter that he “didn’t deliberately disparage anyone” and that he was “sincerely sorry for any unintended stress or offense that some officials may have felt”.

He noted that the investigation concluded that he did not “swear or shout at anyone, let alone throw anything or physically intimidate anyone in any other way.”

The bullying inquiry is the latest ethical headache for Sunak, who has vowed to restore order and integrity to the government after three years of instability under predecessors Johnson and Liz Truss. Multiple scandals toppled Johnson in the summer of 2022, and Truss resigned in October after six weeks in office when her economic plans to cut taxes caused chaos in financial markets.

But Sunak has struggled to shake off accusations from the opposition that the conservative government is still mired in scandal and sleaze, and now he himself is facing an investigation.

A parliamentary watchdog announced this week that it is investigating whether Sunak properly disclosed his wife’s interest in a company that will benefit from a huge increase in free childcare in his administration’s budget.

A member of Sunak’s cabinet, Gavin Williamson, resigned in November amid allegations of bullying. In January, Sunak fired Conservative Party Chairman Nadhim Zahawi for failing to clear up a multimillion-dollar tax dispute.

A separate investigation is underway into claims that Johnson secured the loan with the help of Conservative donor Richard Sharp, who was later appointed chairman of the BBC.


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