Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab faces bullying accusations and difficulty ‘dealing with women’

Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Secretary Dominic Raab’s behaviour called into question as staff offered positions in different departments.
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Dominic Raab, was accused of throwing tomatoes from his Prets salad across the room in anger on Friday.

Dominic Raab denies accusations of bullying and creating a climate of fear in the Ministry of Justice.Dominic Raab denies accusations of bullying and creating a climate of fear in the Ministry of Justice.
Dominic Raab denies accusations of bullying and creating a climate of fear in the Ministry of Justice.

“He began a tirade, opened his Prets salad and threw three tomatoes out into a bag across the table making a loud noise,” a Whitehall source told The Sun.

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A former diary secretary said that Raab insisted on the same order every day from Pret A Manger. “I’m not his biggest fan,” she said. “You have to be very straight with him. He finds it difficult dealing with women. He’s very dismissive.”

Raab’s behaviour has been called into question on previous occasions. Another Whitehall source said he had a very bad reputation when he was foreign secretary.

Following Raab’s re-appointment as Justice Secretary in Rishi Sunak’s government, Ministry of Justice staff were apparently told they did not have to work for him and were offered positions in other departments.

Antonia Romeo, the MoJ’s top civil servant, “read him the riot act” about his behaviour at the department, according to The Guardian.

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Around 15 staff working in the Justice Secretary’s private office were given the option of moving roles.

One source told the Guardian that Mr Raab created “a culture of fear” when running the department and was “very rude and aggressive” to workers, reducing some to tears.

“It wasn’t just that he was unprofessional, he was a bully. The atmosphere when he came back was terrible”, they added.

A spokesman for the MoJ said: “There is zero tolerance for bullying across the civil service.

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“The deputy prime minister leads a professional department, driving forward major reforms, where civil servants are valued and the level of ambition is high.”

Angela Rayner, Labour’s deputy leader, described the claims as “deeply troubling” and said they “must be investigated urgently and independently”.

“The Prime Minister must come clean on what he knew about these allegations when he reappointed Dominic Raab,” she said.

Accusations over the behaviour of MPs have dogged the Conservative Party. A bullying inquiry on then Home Secretary Priti Patel in 2020, found that Ms Patel had “not consistently met the high standards required by the ministerial code of treating her civil servants with consideration and respect" and cited examples of "shouting and swearing".

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The report added: "Her approach on occasions has amounted to behaviour that can be described as bullying in terms of the impact felt by individuals.

"To that extent her behaviour has been in breach of the ministerial code, even if unintentionally."

Sir Alex Allan, Boris Johnson’s adviser on the ministerial code resigned after the PM backed Ms Patel over the bullying inquiry.

Minister without portfolio Gavin Williamson resigned over bullying allegations. The Sunday Times published texts peppered with expletives he sent to then-chief whip Wendy Morton.

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Williamson was reported to the MPs’ bullying watchdog, the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme, over his WhatsApp messages to Ms Morton.

A Ministry of Defence official told the Guardian that Williamson told them to "slit your throat" and also to "jump out of the window".

Williamson denied the accusations in his resignation letter, saying the claims about his conduct had become a "distraction" and was determined to "clear my name of any wrongdoing".

Unite, the second largest trade union in the UK, surveyed 600 parliamentary staff working for MPs, and found that 25% had experienced or witnessed bullying in the offices of MPs.

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