London Daily

Focus on the big picture.

Dominic Raab's ex-colleagues speak out as bullying probe reaches final stages

Dominic Raab's ex-colleagues speak out as bullying probe reaches final stages

Former colleagues of Dominic Raab have spoken to the BBC about their experience of working with him, as an inquiry into bullying claims reaches its final stages.

The investigation into the allegations against Mr Raab is being led by senior lawyer Adam Tolley KC.

Dozens of people, including Mr Raab himself, have now given evidence to the inquiry.

The deputy prime minister and justice secretary has strongly denied bullying.

Mr Raab's evidence is now being reconciled with other witnesses, in a sign the probe is approaching its conclusion.

Mr Tolley has been interviewing people to gather evidence, both positive and negative, with some interviews lasting more than two hours each.

His investigation is expected to conclude soon and was commissioned to establish the facts. It will then be for the prime minister to judge whether his findings show that Mr Raab broke ministerial rules on bullying or not.

The inquiry is investigating eight formal complaints from Mr Raab's time at three government departments, involving at least 24 complainants.

The complaints relate to Mr Raab's time as justice secretary and foreign secretary under Boris Johnson, and his time as Brexit secretary under Theresa May.

Dozens more people have given evidence to the inquiry as witnesses.

The complainants cannot speak publicly while the inquiry is ongoing, but the BBC has spoken to a number of other people who worked closely with Mr Raab, who characterise his behaviour in different ways.

They wished to remain anonymous to not compromise their jobs.

Somebody who advised Mr Raab in a senior role in one department said: "I didn't personally feel bullied. I did observe though what I would characterise as bullying behaviour. There is no question in my mind about that."

They said he "expected high standards of people" but claimed he was "pretty belittling in terms of how he would go about those things".

"And he would frequently humiliate members of his private office and/or others that are working with him," they said.

"At a flick of a switch he could turn incredibly angry and pretty offensive in the way in which he talked to people."


His conduct did not just impact colleagues, but taxpayers too, they say.

"Junior officials were, to all intents and purposes, protected from being exposed to his nastiness, his humiliation, his belittling, and therefore would not be invited to go to meetings with him.

"The effect was that he probably achieved something that no minister or secretary of state should try to achieve, which was to shut up those who are meant to be advising him. If you don't treat people humanely, fairly, with respect, the implications are that you're not going to get back quality outcomes."

One of Mr Raab's former parliamentary staffers says he was not a bully, but that reports about his behaviour have resonated with what they witnessed.

"There were a handful of occasions where I observed him make a member of staff cry, because he was not happy with their work. That was probably one of the things that I found most uncomfortable," they said.

"I think if a colleague cries and they come back to their desk and they're still fretting, and that happens more than once, then I think anybody should recognise that somebody is hurt from that interaction."

"If a member of his staff had delivered some work, which he didn't think was at the standard it should have been, he would tear it apart - frankly literally at times. I did observe that," they added.

"The reason I left was the intensity of the job. I think both professionally and emotionally."

Another parliamentary staffer that Mr Raab's office put us in touch with said they only had good things to say about him.

A different official, who has given evidence to the inquiry and worked with Mr Raab in multiple departments, said even in the most challenging experiences they had "never seen him swear or raise his voice".

"He was always very focused on his job, but always super nice, more perceptive than you'd realise," they said.

On hearing the news of the inquiry they said: "I was sad because everybody's experience is clearly different and it didn't correlate at all to my experience in the slightest… I think people would admit he's hard work because he is a perfectionist and he will go above and beyond to deliver for a department he wants to make changes [to]."

From people the BBC has spoken to, Mr Raab's behaviour seems to have had different impacts on different people. At times, similar descriptions of his behaviour are characterised very differently. That is the challenge for the lawyer investigating him.

The report of the investigation will be made public. Mr Raab has said he will resign if he is found to have been a bully, a judgement Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will have to make when presented with the facts.

He told the BBC's Laura Kuenssberg he was confident he was not a bully and "behaved professionally throughout".

His spokesperson has said that Mr Raab has been "very clear that he has always acted with professionalism and integrity, that he has never shouted or sworn, that he has enjoyed strong working relationships with a range of fantastic civil servants, and that he will address all allegations put to him in the fair and formal setting of the independent inquiry that he called for".


Related Articles

London Daily
Hello and welcome back. Here we are with your latest news update from around the world.
Hello and welcome back. Here are today's top stories from around the world, you don't want to miss:
UK PM Sunak and the Election Betting Scandal
Climate Activists Target Taylor Swift's Private Jet in UK
United States Bans Kaspersky Antivirus
US to Supply Taiwan with Suicide Drones Amid Rising Tensions with China
Bodyguard of UK Prime Minister Arrested for Alleged Election Betting
Global Displacement Crisis: Record Numbers in 2023
Muslim Community Leader Criticizes Nigel Farage for Undermining Muslims
Melinda Gates Discusses 'Horrible' Divorce from Bill Gates
Child Obesity Surge in England: A Deep Concern
U.S. Sues Adobe Over Hard-to-Cancel Subscriptions
Deadly Heat Wave Claims Dozens of Lives During Hajj Pilgrimage in Mecca
Here are today's top worldwide stories you don’t want to miss:.
World’s Largest Pilot Union Calls to Eliminate Terms Like ‘Cockpit’ and ‘Manpower’ for Equity
Woman Suing UK Intel Services Denies China Spy Allegations
Iran Sentences Nobel Laureate Narges Mohammadi to 1-Year Prison Term for Propaganda
News roundup
Good day, everyone! We've got some gripping stories for you today, spanning from the Middle East to Europe, and even a touch of Hollywood.
Britain’s Refugee Visa Rules Stranding Children in War Zones
UK Elections Predict ‘Electoral Extinction’ for PM Sunak’s Conservative Party
Italian Activist Ilaria Salis Returns Home After Election to European Parliament
Good morning!
England Faces Serbia in Euro Opener with Defensive Concerns
Dermatologist Warns Against Sunbed Usage
Fake Pro-Reform UK Social Accounts and Their Influence on Elections
UK Man Jailed for Non-Consensual Condom Removal
Reform UK Surpasses Conservatives in Historic Poll
US, Britain, Canada Accuse Russia of Interference in Moldova’s Election
Taylor Swift Fans Create Seismic Activity in Edinburgh
Sunak Aide Under Investigation for Election Bet
Labour Leader Starmer Focuses on Wealth Creation for Upcoming UK Elections
G7 to Use Frozen Russian Assets for $50 Billion Ukraine Aid
Anti-Israel Irish MEP Clare Daly LOST her seat in the EU Election
Johnson & Johnson Settles Talc Safety Claims for $700 Million
EU Urged to Welcome Skilled Russians to Weaken Putin
EU Elections Overview: Far-Right Gains and Major Political Shifts
Israel Rescues Four Hostages from Gaza
Emmanuel Macron Calls for Snap Election
Jordan Bardella: Young Far-Right Leader Poised for Future Political Influence in France
World's Oldest Privately Owned Book Auctioned for $3.8 Million
Animal Rights Activists Deface King Charles' Portrait in Protest
Dutch Military Intel Uncovers Extensive Chinese Cyber Espionage
Turkish Student Arrested for Using AI to Cheat in University Exam
Rise in Dengue and Other Mosquito-Borne Diseases in Europe Due to Climate Change
EU Elections Overview: Far-Right Gains and Major Political Shifts
Far-Right National Rally Dominates France's EU Vote
Macron Calls Snap Legislative Elections After Far-Right Victory
Far-Right Gains Significantly in EU Election
UK Job Market Shows Signs of Recovery