How long can Dominic Raab continue to deny bullying as fresh complaints land?

Dominic Raab: he asked for an official investigation into bullying complaints against him – and now increasing numbers of civil servants are making fresh allegations.

He might be innocent, of course.

But that would require us to believe that senior civil servants were running a campaign against Dominic Raab – and that would be a very odd thing for such responsible people to do.

Then again, if they think it’s the best thing to do for the country…

The debate could run on and on.

Here’s the latest development, courtesy of the BBC:

Deputy PM Dominic Raab is facing fresh bullying complaints from senior civil servants across multiple government departments, BBC Newsnight has learned.

A number of Mr Raab’s former private secretaries – senior officials who work most closely with ministers on a daily basis – are preparing to submit formal complaints, sources told the BBC.

There is now a coordinated effort by former private secretaries of Mr Raab to ensure their allegations are heard as part of the investigation.

Mr Raab requested an investigation into his own conduct towards staff in the wake of two earlier complaints.

He denies any allegations of bullying.

The allegations against Raab first emerged earlier this month:

The Guardian has reported that staff in the Justice Department were offered “respite or a route out” amid concerns that some were traumatised by his behaviour during his previous stint:

The Guardian has spoken to multiple sources in the MoJ who claimed that Raab, who first held the post between September 2021 and September 2022, when he was sacked by Liz Truss, had created a “culture of fear” in the department.

They alleged that his behaviour when dealing with civil servants, including some in senior roles, was “demeaning rather than demanding”, that he was “very rude and aggressive” and that he “wasn’t just unprofessional, he was a bully”.

It is also understood that Antonia Romeo, the MoJ permanent secretary, had to speak to Raab when he returned to the department to warn him that he must treat staff professionally and with respect amid unhappiness about his return. One source, who was not in the room at the time, claimed she had “read him the riot act”.

The government has appointed Adam Tolley KC to investigate two formal complaints made about Raab’s conduct.

But final judgement on whether Raab has breached the Ministerial Code will lie with prime minister Rishi Sunak – as it did with Boris Johnson when Priti Patel was accused.

Johnson ignored the evidence and allowed Patel to continue as Home Secretary. Will Sunak show the same corruption?

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