UK Deputy Prime Minister resigns after numerous 'bullying' complaints

 April 22, 2023

UK Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab resigned from his position on Friday after allegations of bullying including eight separate complaints involving 24 people during his time as foreign secretary, Brexit secretary, and justice secretary.

When the allegations first surfaced, Raab asked that an investigation be done. The report of that investigation was delivered to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Thursday, and all but two of the allegations were dismissed.

Because two of the allegations were found to have some level of validity, however, Raab kept his word and resigned.

He posted his statement of resignation on Twitter, giving a defense for his actions along with his regrets for the things that he had done and allowed to happen.

Low threshold

"I called for the inquiry and undertook to resign, if it made any finding of bullying whatsoever. I believe it is important to keep my word," Raab said.

But although Raab resigned, he said he didn't agree with the report's findings.

"In setting the threshold for bullying so low, this inquiry has set a dangerous precedent. It will encourage spurious complaints against Ministers, and have a chilling effect on those driving change on behalf of your government — and ultimately the British people," he said.

The accusations

The report found that Raab "did not intend by the conduct described to upset or humiliate", nor did he "target anyone for a specific type of treatment."

What Raab did, according to the accusations, was be "persistently aggressive" in a meeting. "His conduct also involved an abuse or misuse of power in a way that undermines or humiliates," the report added.

The report said Raab went "beyond what was reasonably necessary in order to give effect to his decision and introduced a punitive element".

Raab had a different explanation for his behavior and what happened, however, even though he did offer an apology of sorts.

His apology

Raab apologized for offending those who complained against him, even as he said that his behavior was due to the demands of the job and was not actually bullying. The report found that he never yelled or swore at anyone, threw anything, or maligned anyone, he noted.

Raab concluded by saying he still supports PM Sunak and will do what he can to help from the "backbenches" going forward.

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