A report into allegations that justice secretary Dominic Raab bullied civil servants at the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) is expected to be published soon. PM Rishi Sunak is reportedly assessing the document. A disciplinary decision may be delivered in the near future.
However, senior civil servants are reportedly thinking of quitting if Raab is let off. The BBC’s Sima Kotecha tweeted:
Sources reiterate to me several senior civil servants considering resigning if Dominic Raab remains in post after investigation. His supporters however talk of more compassionate approach in recent months with one saying he’s “proactively” taking on feedback https://t.co/IcTX7Dg76Z
— Sima Kotecha (@sima_kotecha) April 20, 2023
Raab faces eight formal allegations of bullying, with the cases involving 24 different individuals. He denies behaving unprofessionally.
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Outside of this, the Tory Party is no stranger to bullying claims. Former home secretary Priti Patel faced similar allegations in 2020. However, as the Canary wrote at the time, being mean to civil servants was the least of her crimes.
Sunak will likely be under increased pressure, given that his predecessor Boris Johnson also had to discipline Raab over his behaviour.
Worst behaviour ever
Former colleagues told Sky News that Raab had a track record of punching down while sucking up to his superiors:
He would adapt his behaviour depending on the person…
So if you weren’t important, he’s absolutely awful, and then he’d pivot to being reasonable and affable – say with the PM or another senior figure.
Another collegue seemed to think Raab was unusually vicious to staff, even leaving them in tears with his “coercive” behaviour:
His was the worst behaviour I have ever seen. The way he would treat people, belittle people, interrogate people, ignore people. He created an awful atmosphere. It was coercive behaviour. He had people in tears after coming out of his office – but they wouldn’t want to complain, they saw it as professional pride – just to cope with it.
Naturally, social media users saw an opportunity to lay into Raab. These included a Sunak parody account:
I can’t decide whether to sack Dominic Raab for being a bully or beg him to stop pushing my head down the toilet.
— Parody Rishi Sunak (@Parody_PM) April 20, 2023
Another reminded us that justice is not always straightforward when it comes to Tories in general:
Fully expect Dominic Raab to keep his job today,despite being proven to be a bully.
I also fully expect the author of the report to lose his job today, for finding that Dominic Raab is a bully.
— Exile (@ExileSelhurst) April 20, 2023
Meanwhile, for some it was clear that Raab should never be in a position to bully again:
If Dominic Raab is a bully, he should lose his job. Fearing going to work because the boss is a bully, is one of the worst feelings in life. He should not be allowed to make other people's lives miserable. #dominicraab #bullying #Drab #Raab
— C**Rees** (@Chr1stop4) April 20, 2023
Academic Jennifer Cassidy said it should be a baseline for Sunak, or any leader, to crack down on bullying:
When leaders like Sunak say “oh I take bullying allegations very seriously”. As if, they are acting Nobel and making some grand statement. This should be the baseline for any leader, politician or anyone running any institution. Waiting now to see his action on Dominic Raab.
— Dr. Jennifer Cassidy (@OxfordDiplomat) April 20, 2023
However, for some it seemed unlikely that the party of bullies would actually act on bullying when it came to it:
Are you ready for Dominic Raab and Rishi Sunak to say ‘lessons will be learned.’ Then brush his bully allegations under the carpet? pic.twitter.com/vzpqBLYRxK
— BladeoftheSun (@BladeoftheS) April 18, 2023
The Tory Party has a reputation for bullying, and the pressure will be on Sunak to act. However, Raab remains a long-time ally of the PM. It remains to be seen if the Tories will close ranks to protect one of their number. Cynical as they are, there’s also a strong likelihood the Tories will turn on one of their own if it serves. Such is the nature of the Nasty Party.Support us and go ad-free
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