Dominic Raab is determined to battle on as Rishi Sunak ponders whether to sack the Deputy Prime Minister after receiving a report into whether he bullied officials.
After being accused of “dither”, the Prime Minister was taking a second day to determine whether he will kick Mr Raab out of his Cabinet as he reviews senior lawyer Adam Tolley KC’s investigation.
Mr Sunak received the report on Thursday morning but Downing Street was unable to say if the Prime Minister’s verdict, and the report itself, will come on Friday.
A source close to Mr Raab said the Prime Minister has not asked him to resign and denied the pair had held talks over his future.
No 10 had promised that the Prime Minister’s verdict on the eight formal allegations would be published “swiftly”.
But as a decision was delayed a Downing Street source said Mr Sunak was “taking time to go through the report thoroughly”.
Shadow attorney general Emily Thornberry told PA: “I think it’s another example of Conservative chaos and not addressing the problems of the country.
“He’s going to spend tonight looking at the report and trying to summon up the courage to work out whether he should sack his deputy or not when really what he should be doing is focusing on a cost-of-living crisis.
“He’s got the report, read the report, if he’s a bully, sack him.”
“Imagine being a civil servant who has been brave enough to raise a complaint against the Deputy Prime Minister, sitting in a government department, and you’re watching this farce play out live on television, not knowing what your fate is going to be about the complaints you have raised,” Mr Penman told PA.
“No-one knows what is going to happen now, there are no rules associated with any investigation, there are no rights for anyone who raises a complaint.”
If Mr Sunak decides to keep Mr Raab on, morale in the Civil Service could be dented without a convincing argument. There have been suggestions that senior Ministry of Justice officials could quit if he is cleared.
“It feels like almost every week there is an issue with sleaze and scandal where Rishi Sunak is either implicated himself or too weak to get to grips with it.
“People are crying out for a Government that will just get on with tackling the issues that matter, not focused on saving their own skin.”
The eight complaints against Mr Raab centre on his behaviour as foreign secretary, Brexit secretary and during his first stint as justice secretary.