Monday, November 28, 2022

Sunak appoints lead attorney to investigate allegations of bullying against Raab

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Downing Street said Mr Sunak does not have to act on the findings of the inquiry as he remains the ultimate arbiter of the ministerial code as Prime Minister.

The terms of reference require Mr. Tolley to “establish the specific facts” in relation to the formal complaints filed against Mr. Raab with the Justice Department and the Foreign Office.

They state that “the investigation should be concluded as soon as possible”.

Downing Street said the report on Mr Raab, the Esher and Walton MP, would be made public in full but would not set a timeframe for the inquiry, only detail “in good time”.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said the lawyer was hired to “conduct the inquiry, establish the facts and present his findings”.

“He was asked to look into these two formal complaints to establish the facts. He can also speak to the Prime Minister if he wishes to address any other issues that may arise.”

In a hint that Mr Tolley may be able to interview people and obtain recordings of WhatsApp messages and emails, the spokesperson said: “He will have access to any information he wishes to see.”

Latest Page News Deputy Political Editor Anushka Asthana notes the inquiry will focus on two complaints – from the MoJ and the Foreign Office, although there have been suggestions there could be more.

It comes after Latest Page News reported that, according to a late 2019 referendum, eight people who worked in Mr Raab’s private office when he was Foreign Secretary said they had been bullied or harassed at work.

The results also showed that 15 people allegedly reported that someone else was bullied or treated unfairly.

Only 20 people took part in the survey – as the private office was quite small and seven did not respond – but the numbers represent 40% who reported personal experiences of bullying and harassment and 75% who witnessed it.

A spokesman for Mr Raab previously said: “Dominic has high standards, works hard and expects a lot from his team and from himself. He has worked well with officials to advance the government’s agenda in several government departments in Whitehall and always has input highest level of professionalism.”

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