British Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab has requested an independent investigation into two formal complaints about his behaviour, the latest case of alleged bullying to put pressure on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
Raab on Wednesday said he had been notified of two separate complaints, one from when he was foreign minister and one from his previous tenure as justice minister.
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Some officials who have worked for him say he was a tough and demanding boss, with others being quoted by local media as saying he was rude, aggressive and a bully. Raab has denied the allegations.
“I have written to the prime minister to request an independent investigation into two formal complaints that have been made against me,” Raab said on Twitter. “I look forward to addressing these complaints.”
Raab said in a letter he attached to his tweet he had “never tolerated bullying”, and had always sought to empower teams working in his departments.
‘Integrity, professionalism and accountability’
The new allegations put more pressure on Sunak, who used his first speech as prime minister last month to say his government would demonstrate “integrity, professionalism and accountability”.
Sunak defended his deputy this week, saying he did not recognise allegations that Raab had bullied staff.
Also on Wednesday, Sunak said that an investigation requested by Raab was the correct course of action.
“I know that you will be keen to address the complaints made against you and agree that proceeding in this way is the right course of action,” Sunak told Raab in a letter.
“Integrity, professionalism and accountability are core values of this Government. It is right that these matters are investigated fully.”
A cabinet minister, Gavin Williamson, resigned from the government last week over allegations he had bullied colleagues, raising questions about Sunak’s judgement just weeks into the job.