Deputy prime minister Dominic Raab is now being investigated over eight bullying claims after five new formal complaints were made to Downing Street.
All of the five new claims relate to Raab’s tenure as justice secretary and deputy prime minister under the disgraced former PM Boris Johnson. Rishi Sunak reappointed Raab to both those positions after taking over from Liz Truss. The three previous complaints about the behaviour of Raab and his alleged bullying relate to his time as foreign secretary, Brexit secretary and his time at the Ministry of Justice.
Labour and the Liberal Democrats are calling for Raab to be suspended while the bullying allegations are investigated by senior lawyer Adam Tolley KC.
Angela Rayner, Labour’s deputy leader questioned Sunak’s judgment and mandate and said: “It is yet another sign of how weak Rishi Sunak is as a prime minister that despite being aware of Dominic Raab’s reputation, he appointed him as his deputy.
“The prime minister must now say why he has not been suspended until the outcome of the formal investigation, and make clear that any breach of the ministerial code will result in his immediate sacking.”
Rayner said the government “must also take immediate steps” to ensure there is a safe working environment for their staff.
Raab was appearing before parliament’s joint human rights committee today after Downing Street confirmed the investigation into his behaviour towards staff and bullying allegations civil servants was being broadened.
Raab – bullying claims have turned from ‘trickle to flood’
The deputy PM assured MPs that he had “behaved professionally throughout” his ministerships and that he welcomed the formal investigation. This, Raab said, would ensure he can deal with the claims “transparently” rather than having to deal with the “tittle tattle that’s anonymously leaked to the media”.
Daisy Cooper, the deputy leader of the LIberal Democrats said the “trickle of allegations” about Raab and bullying allegations “has turned into a flood”.
Cooper said the deputy-PM position is “becoming increasingly untenable”.
Complaints made against Raab include “multiple” occasions when he left colleagues “in tears”. His behaviour has also been described his as often “abrupt” and “rude”. The first complaint claims Raab oversaw a “perverse culture of fear” at the Ministry of Justice.
Johnson breaches Acoba rules to earn £1m for speeches
Elsewhere, it has been revealed that Boris Johnson has received more than £1 million for four speeches since being ousted from Downing Street two months ago.
The Guardian reports the disgraced former PM picked up more than £275,000 from New York bankers, £261,652 from an Indian newspaper (the Hindustan Times) and £215,000 from a Portuguese television station for speeches. Another one to US insurance brokers netted him £276,000 in September.
Johnson also accepted more than £40,000 in free accommodation from Tory donor Lord Bamford and his wife after leaving office in September.
Rules put in place by parliament’s Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (Acoba) require politicians to wait three months after leaving office before they take up paid employment.
However, there are no formal sanctions for breaching Acoba rules, as Johnson knows given he wrote a column for the Daly Telegraph soon after quitting (Theresa May’s cabinet) as foreign secretary and failed to declare it.