UK Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab has resigned after an independent inquiry into complaints he had been bullying officials
LONDON– Britain’s Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab resigned on Friday after an independent inquiry found he had been bullying officials.
Raab’s announcement comes the day after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak received findings on eight formal complaints that Raab, who is also Justice Secretary, had abusively treated staff during a previous stint in that office and as Britain’s Foreign Secretary and Brexit Secretary.
Raab, 49, denied claims he had belittled and demeaned his staff and said he “acted in a professional manner at all times” but had said he would resign if the bullying complaints were confirmed.
The investigations revealed two results of bullying against him and fired the others, Raab said in his letter of resignation. But he called the findings “flawed” and said the investigation “set a dangerous precedent” by “setting the threshold for bullying so low”.
He said he resigned because he was “obliged” to step down as he had promised.
The resignation spares Sunak from having to decide the fate of his top deputy.
Sunak received the investigation report Thursday morning and carefully reviewed the results but did not immediately make a decision, spokesman Max Blain said.
The case puzzled Sunak: fire Raab and face criticism for hiring him in the first place, or keep him on the job and be criticized for failing to deliver on his promise to restore the integrity of the Conservative government.
The report is the latest ethical issue for Sunak, who vowed to restore order and integrity to government after three years of instability under predecessors Boris Johnson and Liz Truss. Several scandals brought Johnson down in the summer of 2022, and Truss resigned in October after six weeks in office as her tax-cutting economic plans wreaked havoc in financial markets.
But Sunak has struggled to shrug off opposition claims that the Conservative government remains mired in scandal and filth.
Raab was elected to Parliament in 2010 and unsuccessfully tried to become leader of the Conservative Party in 2019 before throwing his support behind Johnson. He was appointed Deputy Prime Minister under Johnson and briefly took over government when Johnson was hospitalized with COVID-19 in April 2020.
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