Monday, November 28, 2022

PM was likely aware of concerns about Raab prior to reappointment, FDA chief claims

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Dave Penman, general secretary of the FDA union, said prime ministers are routinely briefed on concerns about ministers’ track records – noting that officials had raised concerns about Mr Raab’s behavior in previous capacities.

He told Latest Page News that when the Prime Minister was repeatedly asked if he knew about complaints before being appointed, he kept saying only that there had been no “formal complaints”.

It comes after a source told me weeks ago that a senior official at the Department for Exiting the European Union (DEXEU) wrote down and sent to the Cabinet Office their concerns about Mr Raab’s behavior towards his private office.

The Cabinet Office insisted there had been no “formal complaints” but would not go back to whether a “statement of concern” had been filed.

I also received leaked results of a referendum when Mr Raab was foreign minister. Of the 20 people who responded in his private office, 40% said they had been bullied or harassed in the past 12 months, while 75% said they had witnessed bullying or unfair treatment.

There was no way of knowing who the claims related to, but the numbers for Mr. Raab’s private office were far higher than for the State Department in general.

There have been two formal complaints against Mr Raab, sparking an investigation being led by attorney Adam Tolely KC.

However, the BBC claimed several former private secretaries are considering a joint complaint.

And separately from this, I understand that at least one other was inserted.

What is striking about Mr Raab’s behavior is that it appears to have angered officials in several departments – the Foreign Office, DEXEU and the Justice Department – where some broke down in tears over Mr Raab’s reappointment.

I was told that working with Brandon Lewis, who was now Secretary of Justice, was great.

I have spoken to several officials, including very senior ones, who have described Mr Raab’s demanding behaviour, including very specific requests on formatting for example.

Where these are not met, I have been told of “demeaning and patronizing” behavior.

I was surprised how many signed up.

Some who have worked very closely with Mr Raab have argued that while his behavior is demanding, it is never bullying.

A spokesman said he expects a lot from himself and his team but always works with “the utmost professionalism”.

Mr Raab has insisted that he will clear his name.

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