Dominic Raab is facing a THIRD formal complaint as top barrister’s ‘bullying’ probe into deputy PM is widened by Rishi Sunak
- Dominic Raab facing a third formal complaint as ‘bullying’ probe is widened
- The Justice Secretary’s past conduct is being investigated by a top barrister
- No10 says Rishi Sunak still retains confidence in his deputy despite fresh claim
Number 10 said the Prime Minister last night asked the top barrister looking into the allegations against the Justice Secretary to update the ‘scope’ of his probe.
This was after the Cabinet Office received another formal complaint against Mr Raab, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, relating to his conduct while at the Department for Exiting the European Union.
Adam Tolley KC was this week appointed to lead the investigation into Mr Raab’s past behaviour.
The Justice Secretary had already been facing two formal complaints about his conduct while he was foreign secretary and during his first spell in the Ministry of Justice.
The third formal complaint was received by the Cabinet Office on Wednesday, according to Downing Street.
A No10 spokeswoman said: ‘I can confirm that the Prime Minister has now asked the investigator to add a further formal complaint relating to conduct at the Department for Exiting the European Union and to establish the facts in line with the existing terms of reference.’
Mr Raab was Brexit Secretary for four months in 2018 during Theresa May’s premiership, before he resigned over ‘fatal flaws’ in the then PM’s Brexit deal.
Dominic Raab is facing a third formal complaint about his behaviour – this time relating to his conduct while at the Department for Exiting the European Union
The Prime Minister last night asked the top barrister looking into the allegations against the Justice Secretary to update the ‘scope’ of his probe
Top barrister Adam Tolley KC was this week appointed to lead the investigation into Mr Raab’s past conduct
Downing Street said Mr Sunak had received advice from the Cabinet Office before last night asking Mr Tolley to widen his investigation to include the fresh allegation.
The No10 spokeswoman insisted the PM retains confidence in Mr Raab.
The Justice Secretary has vowed to ‘thoroughly rebut and refute’ the claims against him.
He last night insisted he had ‘behaved professionally at all times’ during his ministerial career as he defended himself against allegations of bullying and further claims he used his personal email for Government business.
Mr Raab told the BBC: ‘I’ve behaved professionally at all times and I’m the one that when the complaint came in a matter of days ago – the first that has come against me since I’ve been a minister since 2015 – called for an independent inquiry and I look forward to dealing with it fully and transparently rather than dealing with anonymous comments in the media.
‘I always adhere to the ministerial code, including my use of my iPhone.
‘I’ve always taken advice on the right means, particularly as foreign secretary and dealing with a whole range of sensitive issues, always been very careful to protect the integrity of any communications I have.’
It has been claimed that a number former top officials might soon lodge formal complaints against Mr Raab’s conduct.
The Liberal Democrats have demanded a separate investigation after it also emerged Mr Raab had used his personal email account for Government business.
Allies of the Justice Secretary insisted there were no breaches of the ministerial code because he copied in an appropriate Government email address when required by the guidance.
They also argued he was using his personal account just to approve tweets and quotes with his team at short notice.
Mr Tolley is a barrister at Fountain Court chambers and is set to report his findings about Mr Raab to the PM.
He previously represented King Charles in a tribunal case in 2005 and is described as ‘an encyclopaedia of employment law’.
Downing Street has said it wants Mr Tolley’s investigation to be completed ‘as swiftly as possible’ but has not committed to be it being done by Christmas.
Mr Raab last week dismissed claims he had once hurled tomatoes from a salad across a room in a fit of anger.
Amidt the slew of allegations about Mr Raab’s past behaviour, Lord McDonald – who was the top civil servant at the Foreign Office when Mr Raab led the department claimed staff were ‘scared’ to enter the minister’s office.