Sunak: Time to ‘move forward’ following Raab resignation

- Advertisement -

Rishi Sunak has said he wants to “move forward” following the resignation of his close ally Dominic Raab over intimidating and aggressive conduct towards officials.

The Prime Minister’s promise to restore “integrity” and “professionalism” to Government has been called into question after the former justice secretary became the third minister to leave his Cabinet since he took office in October.

Mr Sunak accepted the resignation of Mr Raab, who was also deputy prime minister, after a report by a senior lawyer found he had insulted colleagues and committed an “abuse or misuse of power” during his tenure.

But the Prime Minister faced criticism for not sacking the former minister sooner, with opposition parties accusing him of “dither and delay” before Mr Raab decided to walk.

He replied: “Dominic Raab said at the time that if that investigation found against him that he would resign and he’s been good to his word and has done that, and I think it’s now right that we move forward.”

Adam Tolley KC’s five-month investigation into eight formal complaints about Mr Raab’s conduct as Brexit secretary and foreign secretary, and in his previous tenure leading the Ministry of Justice, was handed to Downing Street last Thursday.

He was found to have behaved in a way that “undermines or humiliates” while foreign secretary and criticised the work of civil servant staff as “woeful” and “utterly useless” while justice secretary.

Downing Street suggested that Mr Sunak accepts his ally broke the Ministerial Code with what amounted to findings of bullying.

In a letter to Mr Raab, the Prime Minister said he accepted the resignation with “great sadness”.

The resignation came months after the Prime Minister sacked Nadhim Zahawi as Conservative Party chairman amid controversy over his tax affairs.

Sir Gavin Williamson – another key Sunak ally – resigned just days into his premiership after it was alleged he sent expletive-laden messages to a former chief whip.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (Hannah McKay/PA)

Senior Tories spoke out after the publication of the 47-page report on Friday to argue Mr Raab should not have stood down and to criticise the tone of the complaints.

Former business secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg said he should not have quit and that Mr Sunak should have refused to accept his deputy’s departure.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer accused Mr Sunak of “continual weakness” by allowing Mr Raab to resign rather than sacking him, before hitting out at the outgoing minister’s “whining”.

Dave Penman, leader of the FDA union which represents senior Whitehall staff, called for a wider independent inquiry into ministerial bullying following the investigation.

The Liberal Democrats have demanded a by-election in Mr Raab’s Esher and Walton constituency in Surrey following the report’s findings.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Latest Stories

- Advertisement -

UK News

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Read the latest free supplements

Read the Town Crier, Le Rocher and a whole host of other subjects like mortgage advice, business, cycling, travel and property.