UK's Deputy Prime Minister Quits After Bullying Probe

Dominic Raab complains that threshold for bullying was 'set low'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 21, 2023 10:15 AM CDT
UK's Deputy Prime Minister Quits After Bullying Probe
Dominic Raab arrives at the BBC studios in London, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2022.   (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali, File)

UK Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab grudgingly resigned Friday after an independent investigation found he bullied civil servants, though he criticized the findings as "flawed." Raab's announcement came the day after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak received the investigation report into eight formal complaints that Raab, who is also justice secretary, had been abusive toward staff members during a previous stint in that office and while serving as Britain's foreign secretary and Brexit secretary, the AP reports.

Attorney Adam Tolley, who conducted the inquiry, said Raab "acted in a way which was intimidating," was "unreasonably and persistently aggressive" and "introduced an unwarranted punitive element" to his leadership style. "His conduct also involved an abuse or misuse of power in a way that undermines or humiliates," Tolley wrote in the 48-page report. "His conduct was bound to be experienced as undermining or humiliating by the affected individual, and it was so experienced." Raab, 49, denied claims he belittled and demeaned his staff and said he "behaved professionally at all times."

The investigation made two findings of bullying against him and dismissed the others, Raab said in his resignation letter. He called the findings "flawed" and said the inquiry "set a dangerous precedent" by "setting the threshold for bullying so low." Raab said he quit because he was "duty bound" to resign since he had promised to. Sunak accepted the resignation "with great sadness," he said in a letter that praised much of the work Raab had done. He also referred to "shortcomings" in the investigation, which he said had "negatively affected everyone involved."

story continues below

Raab was elected to Parliament in 2010 and unsuccessfully sought to become Conservative Party leader in 2019 before throwing his support behind Boris Johnson. Appointed deputy prime minister under Johnson, he briefly took charge of the government when Johnson was hospitalized with COVID-19 in April 2020 (More United Kingdom stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.