Dominic Raab bullying report: The key findings

Dominic Raab pictured arriving at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 2020 Credit: PA

By ITV News Westminster Producer Lucy McDaid

A report into bullying claims made against the former Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Secretary Dominic Raab found he could be "intimidating" and "persistently aggressive".

Mr Raab resigned from government on Friday after senior lawyer, Adam Tolley KC, concluded an independent investigation into eight formal complaints levelled against the prime minister's former deputy.

Mr Tolley found Mr Raab's behaviour could be "often intimidating" and "excessively demanding", with a "significant adverse impact" on the health of some of the complainants.

Rishi Sunak received the 47-page report on Thursday, with Mr Raab publicly declaring his resignation on Friday, as he always insisted he would if found guilty.

Mr Raab, who is now a backbench MP, has disputed the inquiry and warned: "In setting the threshold for bullying so low, this inquiry has set a dangerous precedent."

Dominic Raab with Rishi Sunak during Prime Minister's Questions Credit: House of Commons/PA

Here are some of the report's key findings:

  • 'He acted in a way which was intimidating' and 'persistently aggressive'

Referring to a complaint made in November 2022 when Mr Raab was foreign secretary, the report found "he acted in a way which was intimidating, in the sense of unreasonably and persistently aggressive conduct in the context of a work meeting."

Mr Raab's conduct was identified as "undermining or humiliating", while Mr Tolley suggested "the deputy prime minister was aware that this would be the effect of his conduct".

It was "an abuse or misuse of power", Mr Tolley concluded.

  • There was 'a significant adverse impact' on complainants' health

"Although the merit of each complaint varied," wrote Mr Tolley, "I find that the complainants were in every case acting in good faith in raising concerns which they genuinely held. In some cases, their experience involved a significant adverse impact on their health."

Elsewhere, Mr Tolley noted that officials, also from Mr Raab's time as justice secretary, experienced a range of things such as "stress and anxiety", with some taking special unpaid leave and "in one case a period of stress-related sick leave".

  • 'Unacceptable' physical gestures

Mr Tolley said he "heard a good deal of evidence" about the former deputy prime minister's use of physical gestures when communicating with civil servants and other officials.

One, he identified as "unacceptable", included "extending his hand directly out towards another person’s face with a view to making them stop talking".

He added: "Another example of such an allegation was loud banging of the table to make a point".

Mr Tolley said he "was not convinced" that Mr Raab used physical gestures in a "threatening" way, but accepted some could have "found it disconcerting".

Dominic Raab’s resignation letter on Twitter Credit: Dominic Raab/PA
  • Mr Raab had been warned numerous times about 'complaints about his behaviour'

Mr Raab always denied that he had been warned about his behaviour, but the report sets the record straight.

It highlighted that his permanent secretary, while in the Ministry of Justice, had "drawn to his attention concerns about his tone and behaviour" on three separate occasions.

The permanent secretary speaking to Mr Raab reportedly told him to address any concerns about civil servants' performance with her, as opposed to speaking to them himself.

  • 'He does not accept that he has done anything wrong'

Mr Tolley reiterated that Mr Raab "has not offered any apology" because "he does not accept that he has done anything wrong".

In his resignation letter on Friday, Mr Raab said he was "genuinely sorry for any unintended stress or offence" caused, but insisted it was "a result of the pace, standards and challenge that I brought to the Ministry of Justice."

Dominic Raab arriving at the Cabinet Office in London Credit: James Manning/PA
  • 'No question on the evidence of him losing control'

Mr Tolley concluded that Mr Raab did not swear or shout at colleagues, but clearly outlined "there was no question on the evidence of him losing control".

  • 'The deputy prime minister acted in a manner which was intimidating'

Again investigating complaints that surfaced during Mr Raab's time at the Ministry of Justice, Mr Tolley detailed he could be "intimidating" and would sometimes go "further than was necessary or appropriate in delivering critical feedback".

Mr Tolley said Mr Raab's style "is, in his own words, inquisitorial, direct, impatient and fastidious".

According to Mr Tolley, the former Cabinet minister would work "assiduously", typically from 7.30am until 10pm most days.

  • Mr Raab could be 'intimidating or insulting' but in a way 'not intended to be so'

The report by Mr Tolley outlined numerous instances where Mr Raab's alleged behaviour made officials feel uncomfortable, but concluded he didn't judge it to be intentional.

However, he stated Mr Raab "should have altered his approach", especially after concerns were raised about his behaviour by his permanent secretary.

As previously maintained by Mr Raab, the report concluded that he is "committed to acting professionally and focusing on the job, because he cares far more about issues of national interest than his personal position".

Mr Raab also feels "wronged", wrote Mr Tolley.

Over the past five months, 44 written pieces of evidence were submitted to Mr Tolley's independent inquiry, and 66 interviews were carried out either in person or via video conference.

Rishi Sunak has appointed Alex Chalk as the new justice secretary, while Oliver Dowden replaces Mr Raab as the prime minister's deputy.

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