Dominic Raab has confirmed he would resign from government if an ongoing inquiry into his conduct concluded he had bullied civil servants, as alleged by a series of officials.

“If an allegation of bullying is upheld, I would resign,” the justice minister and deputy prime minister told Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday show. Raab has denied any bullying or other mistreatment of staff.

He faces claims from at least 24 civil servants, connected to not only the justice department, but also the Foreign Office and Brexit department, his former cabinet posts.

Earlier this month, the Conservative MP and former party chair, Jake Berry, said Raab should temporarily step aside from government pending the report by Adam Tolley KC, the senior employment barrister tasked by Rishi Sunak with looking into the allegations.

Raab said this was not the correct thing to do. He said: “First of all, that’s ultimately for the prime minister to decide. But if by lodging complaints you can knock out a cabinet minister or a senior figure, I’m not sure that’s right. We believe in innocent til proven guilty in this country.”

In a later interview with BBC1’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg programme, asked whether he had reflected on his dealings with staff, Raab said: “Look, in terms of working style, falling short of any of the impropriety you refer to, of course we learn lessons as we go.

“That is part of the relationship with civil servants. But I’m confident that I’ve behaved professionally throughout. I think the lion’s share of the time, the vast majority of cases and the time we spend together, civil servants and ministers work very effectively together.”

Also speaking on the Kuenssberg show, Dave Penman, the general secretary of the FDA union, which represent senior civil servants, said he believed officials did not “have the confidence” to challenge bullying or harassment by senior figures.

Asked about Raab’s interview, Penman said: “The picture he paints is that everything is fine in the civil service and the relationship between ministers and civil servants is OK. That’s not the picture civil servants speak of, that’s not their experience.

skip past newsletter promotion

“One in six are saying they have experienced bullying or harassment, or have witnessed that, in the last 12 months alone across 20 government departments. They don’t have the confidence of challenging those behaviours.”


Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *