Rishi Sunak has been forced to defend Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab, as further bullying allegations have been levelled at the minister. Meanwhile, a former top official made an extraordinary intervension, agreeing that Mr Raab could plausibly be characterised as someone who could bully. Former permanent secretary at the Foreign Office Simon McDonald also refused to deny that he had to speak to Mr Raab about his behaviour during in the department during Mr Raab’s time as Foreign Secretary.
Eight people working in Mr Raab’s private office have so far claimed to have been bullied or harassed at work, according to a survey from late 2019.
In total, 15 people said they had witnessed seeing someone else being bullied or treated unfairly.
When asked if Mr Raab could plausibly be characterised as “somebody who could bully and around whom bullying happened”, Mr McDonald said: “Yes”.
Speaking to LBC, the former permanent secretary said: “”Dominic Raab is one of the most driven people I ever worked for. He was a tough boss.”
When asked if those words were “euphemisms”, Mr McDonald responded: “Maybe they are. I worked closely with him and I didn’t see everything that happened.”
But Prime Minister Rishi Sunak issued a robust defence of his deputy, telling reporters on the plane to the G20 Summit in Indonesia: “I don’t recognise that characterisation of Dominic and I’m not aware of any formal complaints about him.
“Of course, there are established procedures for civil servants if they want to bring to light any issues.
“I’m not aware of any formal complaint about Dominic.”
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