Former Conservative Party chairman Sir Jake Berry on Saturday called for the suspension of Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab, who is under investigation over allegations of bullying.
Mr Raab is under investigation over a number of allegations that he bullied civil servants in various cabinet jobs, but the deputy prime minister, who is also attorney general, claims he “behaved professionally”.
In an interview with BBC Radio 4’s ‘The Week in Westminster’ programme, Mr Berry said people facing allegations of bullying would be suspended in the private sector, with parliament and government changing rules to stop I said we need to create a mechanism.
“The way these types of complaints are handled in the private sector is that they are suspended while they are being investigated,” he said, adding that it would be “very strange” that someone would not be suspended until the investigation is done. That’s the thing,” he added.
“We have a system in Congress that works or doesn’t work,” he said. “I think having an extra tool in his box would be a great help to the prime minister.”
“The ministerial decree needs to be updated a bit, but I think the public will welcome it,” he added.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has faced renewed pressure in recent years to suspend Raab after he sacked Conservative Party chairman Nadim Zahawi, who was found to have violated ministerial rules by failing to declare a tax audit. facing the sun.
The FDA union, which represents senior civil servants, has already called for Raab’s suspension. The Labor Party accused Sunak of being too weak to face his deputy, who was one of his strongest supporters in the battle for Tory leadership after Boris Johnson’s resignation.
But former Conservative minister Jacob Rees-Mogg defended Snak’s decision to keep Raab in office during the investigation, saying “we shouldn’t be too snowflakes about it”. .
Sir Simon McDonald, former permanent secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has previously said Snak is a “tough boss” and the claim is plausible.
Rees-Mogg said people “need to be able to say that this work isn’t being done well and needs to be improved,” adding that it’s hard to tell if a line has been crossed. I was.
The Guardian on November 11, 2022 cited a number of unnamed sources who said Raab was “extremely disrespectful and aggressive” to public officials and created a “culture of fear” in the Justice Department.
On November 15th, two formal complaints were filed against Raab. Raab called for an investigation into his own behavior the next morning.
Raab said at the time that he would “cooperate fully” with the investigation and respect Snack’s decisions “whatever the outcome.”
He also said he “never tolerated bullying” while holding eight ministerial posts in four government departments.
Sunak appointed Senior Counsel Adam Tolley KC on November 23 to investigate the two allegations, and since then has added six more previous allegations.
According to The Guardian, all three permanent secretaries who worked with Raab, including former Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Sir Simon Macdonald, Undersecretary of Justice Antonia Romeo and former Brexit Bureau chief Philip Rycroft, presented evidence to the Tory as witnesses. bottom.
newspaper too report At least 24 public officials, possibly 30 or more, are involved in formal complaints. The Epoch Times was unable to independently verify the number.
Following last week’s report, Downing Street said it had only eight formal allegations against Raab, but could not rule out that each allegation involved multiple accusers.
Snacks under pressure
The prime minister’s position is also in jeopardy. Because he was pressured to explain whether he was aware of his concerns for Raab before returning him to government.
Raab served as Deputy Prime Minister and Attorney General in Boris Johnson’s government until September last year. After Liz Truss’ brief tenure as prime minister, Sunak returned her Raab to the cabinet in October and took her previous job.
Downing Street said Snak was unaware of any formal complaints against Raab, but the prime minister’s knowledge came under greater scrutiny after it was reported that his cabinet members knew about Raab’s alleged actions. rice field.
The Times of London said a formal complaint was filed against Raab in March 2022, citing “officials closely involved in the complaint.”
The report also said a number of officials told Tory that Cabinet Secretary Simon Case had been informed of the complaint.
Downing Street did not deny that Case had knowledge of the complaint, but said Sunak had no knowledge of the formal complaint before appointing Raab.
Snacks were also standing by the case. When asked on Friday whether Sunak was confident he was getting solid advice from Case, a Sunak spokesperson said: The Prime Minister has full confidence in Simon Case. ”
Sunak was the second cabinet minister after former Health Secretary Sajid Habid resigned from Johnson’s administration. The former prime minister has allowed Chris Pincher to stay in Johnson’s government despite allegations of sexual misconduct after he previously denied knowledge of him.
Their resignations began the exodus of cabinet ministers that ended Johnson’s premiership.
Entering Downing Street, the Prime Minister vowed to lead with “honesty, professionalism and accountability”, apparently in an attempt to regain credibility after two prime ministers left No. 10 in disgrace.
Following reports that Zahawi paid a fine to settle a tax dispute, Sunak refused to fire him while an investigation was ongoing, but a six-day probe found “serious violations” of ministerial orders. He was dismissed immediately after.
PA Media contributed to this report.