Raab ‘confident’ he behaved ‘professionally’ as he faces questions over conduct

Dominic Raab said he was “confident” he had behaved “professionally” as the Deputy Prime Minister faces an inquiry into two formal complaints against him.

The justice minister confirmed on Wednesday that two separate complaints had been made about his conduct, as the prime minister agreed to launch an independent inquiry into the allegations.

At the Prime Minister’s questions for Rishi Sunak, who is flying back from the G20 summit in Bali, Mr Raab faced an onslaught of questions from Labor Party Deputy Leader Angela Rayner as he said he was looking forward to “all to transparently address claims that have arisen”.

Mr Raab has faced a number of allegations that he has bullied officials and behaved in a rude and demeaning manner in previous cabinet functions.

In his response on Wednesday, Mr Sunak told the justice minister that “integrity, professionalism and accountability are core values ​​of this government” and that an investigation was the “right course of action”.

Mr Raab came under pressure over his behaviour, as Ms Rayner told the House of Commons: “After days of dodges and denials, the Deputy Prime Minister finally acknowledged formal complaints about his wrongdoing this morning, but his letter contains no hint of an admission or apology.

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Deputy Labor Leader Angela Rayner speaks during Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons (House of Commons/PA)

“This is anti-bullying week. Will he apologize?”

Mr Raab said: “She is asking about the complaints, I received a notification this morning, I immediately asked the Prime Minister to launch an independent inquiry.

“I am confident that I have conducted myself professionally throughout, but of course I will fully engage and look forward to being transparent with any claims made.”

Mr Sunak, who is in Indonesia for the G20 summit, remains at Mr Raab’s side but agreed to Mr Raab’s suggestion that an independent inquiry be conducted.

The Prime Minister will appoint an “independent” investigator to carry out the inquiry into the facts in the absence of a permanent ministerial ethics watchdog.

However, a Downing Street spokeswoman said Mr Sunak was under no obligation to accept the findings of a report drawn up by the investigator as the Prime Minister remains the “ultimate arbiter” of the Ministerial Code.

Labor also rounded out the new PM in the House of Commons, with Ms Rayner telling MPs that Mr Raab “has had to call for an inquiry into himself because the PM is too weak to get a handle on him”.

“The deputy prime minister knows his behavior is unacceptable, so what else is he doing here?”

In his letter to the Prime Minister, Mr Raab said: “I have just been informed that two separate parallel complaints have been lodged against me from my time as Foreign Secretary and my first term as Justice Minister, which ended in September this year.

I have never tolerated bullying and have always sought to empower and empower the teams of officers working in my respective departmentsDominik Raab

“I am therefore writing to ask you to commission an independent investigation into the allegations as soon as possible. I will fully cooperate and respect the outcome you chose.”

The Conservative MP for Esher and Walton told Mr Sunak he has “never tolerated bullying and has always sought to strengthen and strengthen the teams of officers who work in my respective departments”.

Senior Justice Department officials had reportedly ruled that a senior official must be in the room at all meetings with Mr Raab due to the recent allegations, according to The Guardian on Wednesday.

The newspaper also reported that Philip Rycroft, the former permanent secretary of the Department for Exiting the European Union, had raised concerns about Mr Raab’s behavior during his time as Brexit Secretary to then-Cabinet Secretary Mark Sedwill.

Mr Raab was also reportedly warned about his behavior towards officials when he was foreign secretary.

The concerns were brought to Mr Raab by Lord Simon McDonald, the senior Foreign Office official, and the Mandarin also discussed the situation informally with the Cabinet Office’s decorum and ethics team, The Guardian reported.

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Rishi Sunak has assisted Dominic Raab (PA).

The deputy prime minister said in his letter to Mr Sunak that he had been “blessed to work with a wide range of outstanding civil servants, particularly my brilliant and dedicated private offices”.

“I have always welcomed the mutual challenge that comes with serious policy making and public service delivery.

“I’ve always tried to set high standards and forge teams that can make a difference for the British people amid the acute challenges we’ve faced in recent years.

“I have never tolerated bullying and have always sought to empower and strengthen the teams of officers who work in my respective departments.”

In a radio interview on Monday, Lord McDonald admitted that allegations that Mr Raab might be a bully were plausible.

Asked by LBC Radio if Mr Raab is characterized as someone who might bully and around whom bullying might take place, he replied: “Yes.”

Lord McDonald added: “Dominic Raab is one of the most ambitious people I’ve ever worked for, he was a tough boss.

“Maybe they’re euphemisms, but I worked closely with him and didn’t see everything that happened.”

It’s the latest blow to the new Prime Minister’s government after he was criticized for adding Sir Gavin Williamson to his leadership team despite being told he was under investigation for alleged bullying by a colleague, prompting Sir Gavin to resign.

https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/uk/raab-confident-he-behaved-professionally-as-he-faces-questions-over-conduct-42149390.html Raab ‘confident’ he behaved ‘professionally’ as he faces questions over conduct

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