Dominic Raab: Deputy PM says ‘behaved professionally at all times’ and denies breaching ministerial code after bullying allegations | Politics news

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    Dominic Raab insisted that he “behaved professionally at all times” despite the increasing allegations of bullying and intimidation.

    Several of the deputy prime minister’s former private secretaries told the BBC yesterday that they were preparing to make formal complaints about his behaviour.

    This was also reported by Newsnight Mr. Raab used his personal email account for government business in two different departments – once most recently in 2021.

    But Mr Raab said: “I have always followed the ministerial code, including using my iPhone.”

    He added that he was “always careful to protect the integrity of any communications.”

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    Asked if he had been informed that more senior officials who worked closely with him on a daily basis had lodged complaints, Mr Raab said: “I conducted myself professionally at all times.

    “And I am the one who, when the complaint was filed a few days ago, the first ever filed against me since I have been a minister since 2015, [I] called for an independent investigation and I look forward to a full and transparent review of it rather than anonymous comments in the media.

    “I have always followed the ministerial code, including using an iPhone.”

    When asked why this is not a violation of the ministerial code, the deputy prime minister replied: “It is very clear, I have consulted with it. I am sure of it.”

    After reviewing reports that senior government officials had told him not to use his personal phone for government business, Mr. Raab dismissed the claims as “anonymous speculation.”

    He added that he had “always taken advice” on how to keep in touch and, when asked why he used his personal phone for some things, said it was “perfectly legal and in line with the guidance we have”.

    “I am confident that I have not breached the ministerial code in any of the ways that you allege,” Mr Raab said.

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    Raab disputed the bullying allegations

    Earlier today, Downing Street said Rishi Sunak still had full confidence in his deputy despite the new allegations.

    If charges are brought against the former private secretaries, they could be included in Mr Raab’s investigation into two formal complaints of bullying by KC senior lawyer Adam Tolley.

    Labor deputy leader Angela Rayner called for an “immediate expansion of the investigation into Mr Tolley”.

    Mr. Raab denies all allegations of bullying against himbut last week asked the Prime Minister to launch an investigation into his own conduct.

    If the deputy prime minister is found to have breached the ministerial code, it could force him to resign.

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    Liberal Democrat leader Wendy Chamberlain called for an investigation into Mr Raab’s use of his personal email account for government business.

    “It is only right and proper that the Cabinet should investigate these messages and immediately determine whether foreign enemies could have seen the national secrets sent by Dominic Raab,” she said.

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    Bully claims it’s an “open secret”

    But Downing Street backed Mr Raab and rejected suggestions the inquiry would be a whitewash, despite Mr Sunak’s ability to dismiss its findings.

    The spokesman also defended Mr Raab over his use of email, telling reporters: “Ministers can use different forms of communication. As long as they follow these guidelines, there is no binary restriction on the use of personal email addresses.”

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