WE ARE A MAGAZINE ABOUT LAW AND JUSTICE | AND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO
April 16 2024
WE ARE A MAGAZINE ABOUT LAW AND JUSTICE | AND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO
Search
Close this search box.

Justice Secretary resigns amongst criticism of “unreasonably aggressive conduct”

Justice Secretary resigns amongst criticism of “unreasonably aggressive conduct”

Dominic Raab has resigned as the U.K.’s deputy prime minister, justice secretary and Lord Chancellor amidst the publication of an official report which concluded that he had acted in an “intimidating” manner towards civil servants.

He is to be replaced as justice secretary by Alex Chalk, conservative MP for Cheltenham who was previously a barrister specialising in counter-terrorism, homicide and  serious fraud cases.

The investigation was led by leading employment barrister Adam Tolley KC, whose report drew conclusions that Raab had, on multiple occasions, “gone further” than appropriate conduct, when delivering critical feedback. On this, the report claims that he acted in an ‘insulting’ manner when delivering feedback on work done by Minister of Justice officials. Amongst other findings, the report concluded that Raab was “unreasonably difficult to deal with” and was described as sometimes “abrasive” and he should have “altered his approached earlier.” All this behavior cumulated in Raab behaving “unreasonably and [engaging] in persistently aggressive conduct” while acting in his capacity as foreign secretary.

 

The Guardian reports that Raab published an “angry resignation letter”, where he disputed the conclusions of the report as setting a “dangerous precedent” by setting the threshold for bullying “so low”.

 

The report was not the first to conclude that Raab behaved unreasonably, as numerous formal complaints have been filed over the years commenting on his dealings with civil servants, including a claim first brought up by the Guardian that he bullied and belittled staff, driving some of his civil servants to tears or causing them enough stress to vomit before meetings.

 

Raab has defended ministers being able to ‘give direct critical feedback on briefings and submissions… in order to set standards and drive the reform the public expect of us.” Writing for the Telegraph in an opinion piece, Raab described the inquiry as an “Kafkaesque saga” and claimed that the report itself targets ministers who “persevere in holding civil servants to account.”

 

The original investigation report to the prime minister by Adam Tolley KC can be found here.