PMQs: Dominic Raab says bullying claims are ‘mudslinging’
Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab should not resign after being accused of bullying officials in his previous Government roles, a new poll of Express.co.uk readers has found. Following the launch of an independent investigation into his behaviour, over two-thirds of readers voted in support of Mr Raab retaining his post as Justice Secretary.
Mr Raab denied the allegations and requested an investigation into himself after two formal complaints were lodged. Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) on Wednesday, November 16, Mr Raab stood in for Mr Sunak, who was attending the G20 Summit in Bali, and told MPs that he was “confident that I have behaved professionally throughout”.
He wrote to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak asking for an investigation to be launched “as soon as possible” and said he would “cooperate fully” with the inquiry and respect the outcome, adding that the complaints related to his behaviour as Foreign Secretary and Justice Secretary under former Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
He tweeted: “I look forward to addressing these complaints, and continuing to serve as Deputy Prime Minister, Justice Secretary, and Lord Chancellor.”
Mr Sunak said he agreed for an independent investigation to take place, with his spokesman adding that he “still has full confidence” in his deputy.
READ MORE: Raab admits ‘two formal complaints made against me’ in inquiry demand
Dominic Raab asked for an independent investigation to be launched into himself
He said: “I know that you will be keen to address the complaints made against you and agree that proceeding in this way is the right course of action.” He added: “Integrity, professionalism and accountability are core values of this government. It is right that these matters are investigated fully.”
The Government’s independent adviser on ministerial standards Christopher Geidt resigned in June, and as a result, Downing Street said an external independent investigator will be appointed for the inquiry. Yet the spokesperson added Mr Sunak would be the “ultimate arbiter” of the ministerial code after being presented with the findings.
Mr Raab said: “I have always sought to set high standards, and forge teams that can deliver for the British people amidst the acute challenges that we have faced in recent years.
“I have never tolerated bullying, and always sought to reinforce and empower the teams of civil servants working in my respective departments.”
In a poll that ran from 2pm on Thursday, November 17, to 3pm on Friday, November 18, Express.co.uk asked readers: “Should Dominic Raab resign over bullying claims?”
Overall, 1,179 people cast their votes with the vast majority, 68 percent (797 people) answering “no”, Mr Raab should not resign over the complaints.
A further 32 percent (367 people) responded “yes” he should resign, while just 10 people said they did not know either way.
Dozens of comments were left below the accompanying article as readers shared their thoughts on Mr Raab’s political future.
Dominic Raab told MPs he was ‘confident’ he had behaved professionally
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Many argued the claims were unfair and should not result in Mr Raab’s resignation. Username Vinny781 said: “No, he shouldn’t resign over allegations.”
Another, username StopIt wrote: “Why the hell would anyone resign over ‘claims’?”
While username Stephen West said: “No he shouldn’t! It’s just the woke establishment at work again trying to foil his plans, by claiming bullying.”
Username Milly_Jones added: “Should Raab resign – most certainly NOT.”
And username tlm commented: “I’m no fan of Mr Raab but all this bullying nonsense is absurd.”
Other readers argued that he should not decide until after the investigation is complete. Username llamudos wrote: “Innocent till proven guilty. What world are we living in?”
Username amfuctifino said: “Why should he, he has not been found guilty of anything.”
While username Tenorplayer said: “Of course he shouldn’t resign, not yet at least. In this country we still maintain ‘innocent until proven guilty.”
And username Older but no wiser added: “No, no, no. But the unfortunate fact is, that democracy is dead in this country.”
Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner claimed Mr Raab should resign during PMQs stating: “The Deputy Prime Minister knows his behaviour is unacceptable, so what is he still doing here?”
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Rishi Sunak said he ‘still has full confidence’ in his deputy
Mr Raab was previously sacked as Justice Secretary and Deputy Prime Minister by former Prime Minister Liz Truss, but Mr Sunak chose to reappoint him at the start of his premiership in October.
Mr Rabb’s accusations come just a week after Gavin Williamson was forced to resign from Cabinet over intimidating behaviour and allegations of bullying.
The South Staffordshire MP was accused of sending abusive messages to a fellow Tory MP and bullying a senior civil servant during his time as Defence Secretary.
In his resignation letter to Mr Sunak, he said he was leaving with “real sadness” but offered his “full and total support from the backbenches”.