‘Leave it there’ – Furious Raab interjects on bullying question

Dominic Raab quizzed on bullying allegations

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Lord Chancellor Dominic Raab swiftly cut off questions about his workplace behaviour during a House of Lords Select Committee session this morning. Baroness Chakrabarti probed him over any changes to his behaviour since allegations emerged of bullying, however, Mr Raab refused to answer questions. 

Mrs Chakrabarti asked Dominic Raab whether he’s reflected and “done anything different to perhaps change the dynamic in the department” since bullying allegations hit the press. 

Mr Raab quickly shut her down, saying: “Yes so I think you’re now trying to take me into the inquiry, which is improper and has got nothing to do with free speech so I think I’m going to leave that there.”

The Deputy Prime Minister had repeatedly used the word “humility” with the committee, but set out he wasn’t going to touch on any issues to do with the ongoing inquiry into his behaviour. 

He added: “I’m not going to touch on anything which relates to the inquiry, I’m sure you would agree that would be improper of me. 

“But let me say generally both in previous departments and in the Ministry of Justice I would say we’re served by a terrific cohort of civil servants.

“By and large the relationship is very effective with ministers across the board.”

He said the “overwhelming majority” of the civil servants that work with him “relish that” agenda.

Mr Raab has previously said he is “confident that I’ve behaved professionally throughout” his time in government.

Since returning to government after Liz Truss’s resignation, a number of allegations have emerged about Dominic Raab’s behaviour. 

They include angrily throwing tomatoes from a Pret-a-Manger salad into a bag across a table, which “made a loud noise”, one Whitehall complainant told The Sun. 

The charge sheet also includes hard staring, raising his voice, cutting staff short, long silences and “microaggressions”.

In February, Mr Raab told Sky News he would resign if the bullying allegations are upheld. 

“We believe in ‘innocent until proven guilty’ in this country and I’ll cooperate fully with the inquiry and respect the outcome of it.”

“If an allegation of bullying is upheld then I’d resign.”

Senior lawyer Adam Tolley was appointed by Rishi Sunak in November to investigate complaints about the conduct of the Deputy Prime Minister. 

However, the Ministerial Code dictates the Prime Minister will be the ultimate judge of the standards of behaviour expected of a minister. 

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Rishi Sunak may be placed in a tricky position should the investigation find evidence of bullying by Dominic Raab, as he could be forced to sack his long-standing supporter. 

Mr Raab, who was a close ally of Boris Johnson’s, was Rishi Sunak’s star backer during the 2022 summer leadership campaign against Liz Truss. 

He introduced Mr Sunak at his launch event and was often used by Rishi Sunak’s campaign to launch blistering attacks on Liz Truss’s plans for government. 

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