Dominic Raab should resign, Cabinet minister says
Dominic Raab should resign or be sacked from the Government amid claims he failed to respect his civil servants, one of his Cabinet colleagues has told The Telegraph.
The intervention marks the first Cabinet member calling for Mr Raab to go, with the Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Secretary now fighting for his political life amid claims he bullied officials.
Mr Raab, who was reappointed to the Cabinet by Rishi Sunak in October, denies the allegations. Adam Tolley KC is leading an independent investigation into eight complaints lodged by civil servants about his conduct across a number of years and three Whitehall departments.
'Raab has got to go'
A Cabinet colleague told The Telegraph that his position was now untenable. “Raab has got to go,” they said.
The minister said they had “heard too much” from civil servants claiming "that he’s an absolute s***”.
They went on: “I just don’t think he’s a very nice human being.
“Okay we’re not there to be nice human beings, we’re there to run the country. But you need to respect your civil servants, and I don’t think he has much of that in him I’m afraid.”
Responding to the comments, an ally of Mr Raab’s said: “Working with Dom is like working for a CEO - he is relentless about getting the best out of a department and operates and directs with the efficiency, drive, and attention to detail any successful business leader would recognise.
'Professional to a tee'
“He requests robust challenge from those around him to that end, and is professional to a tee - he would never demean, disrespect or bully.”
The comments nevertheless pile extra pressure on the Justice Secretary at a time when he is already facing public calls from Tory MPs to stand aside.
On Saturday, the former chair of the Conservative Party, Sir Jake Berry, said that he should be suspended from his post until Mr Tolley’s investigation is completed.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Week in Westminster: “When you have 24 allegations against you - I read in the newspaper there are 24 - it would be very bizarre if you had someone in any other workplace who wasn’t suspended pending that investigation.
“MPs and ministers are not some form of special human being - I think they should just be treated like anyone else in their workplace.”
'Avalanche of accusations'
Nadine Dorries, the former culture secretary, has also said that he should resign to fight the claims. “If I were Dominic Raab and I was under this avalanche of accusations being made against me, I think I would want to stand down, I would want to dedicate my time to clearing my name and refuting those allegations,” she said. “And I think Dominic’s probably going to get to that position pretty soon.”
However, Education Secretary Gillian Keegan said it was “fair” for him to stay in post while the investigation continues.
Allies of Mr Raab have mounted a rearguard action by insisting their experiences of working with him have been positive.
James Daly, the MP for Bury North, said: “One can only judge any individual on your personal contact with them and in my dealings with Mr Raab he has always been polite and focused on delivering the policy agenda upon which the Government was elected.
“In light of such serious allegations it is crucial for all parties that Adam Tolley KC is allowed to prepare his report and due process is followed.”
Heather Wheeler, an MP who worked with him as a Foreign Office minister, said: “Never once did I hear on the grapevine from civil servants that he’d behaved improperly and he certainly never behaved improperly when I was in a room with him.
“I find these complaints bemusing. It doesn’t sound like the Secretary of State I know.”
Further questions have been asked about Mr Sunak’s decision to reappoint Mr Raab following a report by The Times last week that Simon Case, the cabinet secretary, had been made aware of a written complaint about his behaviour prior to the appointment.