Dominic Raab “values” civil servants in his division, the Ministry of Justice has insisted, after bullying claims have emerged in opposition to him.
Mr Raab was reappointed as justice secretary and deputy prime minister by Rishi Sunak final month, having held the roles between September 2021 and September 2022 below Boris Johnson, however having been sacked by Liz Truss for her quick tenure in workplace.
However, his return to the MoJ was not welcomed by some, based on the Guardian, which mentioned round 15 senior civil servants in his non-public workplace had been supplied “respite or a route out” as a consequence of considerations some had been nonetheless traumatised from his earlier tenure.
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Sources mentioned division chiefs held a gathering with the group and acknowledged Mr Raab’s reappointment may trigger them anxiousness, with some workers members in tears and selecting to maneuver on.
However, the paper additionally cited sources suggesting a few workers members have since returned.
Multiple MoJ sources additionally mentioned he had beforehand created a “culture of fear” within the division, alleging he was “demeaning rather than demanding” with civil servants, and that he was “very rude and aggressive”, including: “[He] wasn’t just unprofessional, he was a bully”.
The newspaper additionally claimed the everlasting secretary, Antonia Romeo, warned Mr Raab to deal with workers with respect on his return, with one supply, who was not within the room on the time, saying she had “read him the riot act”.
Asked for a response to the allegations, an MoJ spokesperson mentioned: “There is zero tolerance for bullying throughout the civil service.
“The deputy prime minister leads a professional department, driving forward major reforms, where civil servants are valued and the level of ambition is high.”
A supply within the division additionally instructed Sky News they might deny any suggestion of bullying, saying Mr Raab “prides himself on his professionalism and has a good working relationship with the officials who he rates very highly”.
They additionally mentioned he had been a minister in a number of authorities departments for a few years and had by no means confronted a proper grievance.
Calls for investigation
The allegations come days after former cupboard minister Gavin Williamson resigned from authorities after dealing with a number of bullying accusations, and likewise as questions stay over the re-hiring of Home Secretary Suella Braverman, who was introduced again onto the frontbench six days after committing a safety breach and breaking the ministerial code.
Labour’s deputy chief Angela Rayner referred to as the claims made in opposition to Mr Raab “deeply troubling” and mentioned they raised “yet more questions about Rishi Sunak’s judgement”.
She added: “With each new scandal and grubby deal, it becomes more obvious that he is a weak leader, who puts party management before the national interest.
“He claimed zero tolerance for bullying, promised a authorities of integrity and pledged to urgently appoint an ethics adviser, but is falling far quick on each promise. Rishi Sunak is already exhibiting he is not only failing to cease the rot however letting it fester.”
She joined calls by the Liberal Democrats for an investigation into the allegations against Mr Raab.
Lib Dem deputy leader Daisy Cooper said: “These newest reviews can’t be brushed below the carpet by Rishi Sunak. He should launch an investigation into Raab with quick impact.
“No staff, whether in the civil service or any other sector, should be subjected to working with or for a bully.”
But colleagues who labored below the justice secretary elsewhere leapt to his defence, with Tory MP Eddie Hughes mentioned: “When I got my first job as his PPS (parliamentary private secretary), I was told Dom was demanding. ‘He’s very hard working and expects others to be too’. I was delighted. I wanted to work for someone who took their role seriously.
“We obtained on nice from the beginning. Never noticed him be impolite to anybody.”
Another Conservative Rachel Maclean replied to Mr Huges tweet, saying: “Neither did I once I labored with him on joint tasks once I was within the Home Office. He has excessive requirements that are wanted to ship for the British individuals.”