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Rishi Sunak Criticises Historic "Shortcomings" Around Dominic Raab Bullying Inquiry

Dominic Raab and Rishi Sunak in the House of Commons. (Alamy)

2 min read

Rishi Sunak has criticised process “shortcomings” following an inquiry into bullying allegations made against Dominic Raab, over which the former justice secretary and deputy prime minister has resigned from government.

The Prime Minister said that he had accepted his former justice secretary’s resignation with “great sadness” after the report from Adam Tolley KC suggested Raab had acted in an "intimidating" manner.

"You had rightly undertaken to resign if the report made any finding of bullying whatsoever," Sunak wrote in his letter to Raab. 

"But it is clear that there have been shortcomings in the historic process that have negatively affected everyone involved.

"We should learn from this how to better handle such matters in future."

When pushed on what these shortcomings are, the Prime Minister's official spokesman said the report raises "wider issues"  that Sunak "thinks it's right to consider." 

The spokesman explained: "The report makes clear that on a number of occasions some of these instances weren’t raised immediately, they weren't raised in some circumstances for a number of years.  

"There were some points individuals were not encouraged to raise them by line management, so I think the point he is making is that it does raise some wider issues that he thinks it's right to consider." 

Raab was appointed justice secretary by the Prime Minister when Sunak took office last October, having previously held the position under Boris Johnson between September 2021 and September 2022, as well as holding the title of deputy prime minister. Raab had previously held a number of other senior cabinet positions, including foreign secretary, from which he was sacked over his handling of the Afghan evacuation in 2021, and the now defunct position of secretary of state for exiting the European Union. 

Sunak praised Raab's work in government, including the time when he stood in for Boris Johnson who had been hospitalised with Covid during his time as prime minister.

"You provided the country – and your cabinet colleagues – with reassurance and leadership at a moment of profound national concern," Sunak wrote. 

"As chancellor at the time, I was struck by the collegiate way in which you handled this most difficult of challenges."

In his own response to the report Raab also said he thought the findings of the report were “flawed” and that "in setting the threshold for bullying so low, this inquiry has set a dangerous precedent".

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