Staff in Dominic Raab's private office claim they were 'bullied and harassed', according to survey

Results of a people's survey from 2019 show 40% reported personal experience of bullying and harassment. Credit: PA

Eight people working in Dominic Raab's private office when he was foreign secretary claimed to have been bullied or harassed at work, according to a people's survey from late 2019.

The results, which have been leaked to ITV news, also show that 15 people reported seeing someone else being bullied or treated unfairly.

The survey was of just 20 people - as the private office was quite small and seven did not respond - but the figures represent 40% reporting personal experience of bullying and harassment and 75% witnessing it.

The results are anonymous and so do not say who is being accused of bullying others within the team. 

A leaked screen grab of the survey shows 40% claimed they had been bullied or harassed at work. Credit: ITV News

However, the numbers are significantly higher in the secretary of state's private office than for the foreign office more widely. The survey suggests the 40% was 26% higher than for the wider department.

One source said there were personnel changes after the survey results came back - and that there were no complaints about Mr Raab himself.

However, others who worked in the foreign office also claimed to me that there were suggestions of similar behaviour from Mr Raab to that claimed in the Ministry of Justice.

Further leaked screen grabs show 75% said they had seen someone else being 'bullied or treated unfairly' in the last 12 months. Credit: ITV News

The Guardian claimed on Friday that staff were given the option of "respite or a route out" when they found out he was returning to the Justice department. The paper claimed that he was guilty of rude and demeaning behaviour and claimed there was a "culture of fear" - something denied by his aides.

Sources confirmed to ITV News that staff were upset and some were in tears. They also confirmed that the department's permanent secretary, Antonia Romeo, had warned Mr Raab to be professional.

Others have since come forward to me to claim he was guilty of similar behaviour in previous roles.

"There were serious concerns about his behaviour towards private office staff when he was Brexit secretary in 2018," one senior Whitehall source told me on Friday.

"I understand a senior official wrote their concerns down and sent them to the Cabinet Office."

They said the concerns were about behaviour "basically identical" to what was being alleged at MoJ.

The Cabinet office have denied any formal complaints. But the source said most complaints were made informally and suggested it may have been an "expression of concern".

They added: "There was no sign that anything was done about it."

Another source pointed to his time as foreign secretary.

But a spokesperson for Mr Raab denied inappropriate behaviour.

"Dominic has high standards, works hard, and expects a lot from his team as well as himself. He has worked well with officials to drive the government's agenda across Whitehall in multiple government departments and always acts with the utmost professionalism," they said.

The foreign office were unwilling to comment on leaked documents relating to personnel. 

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