Rishi Sunak appoints senior lawyer to investigate bullying claims against Dominic Raab

The Justice Secretary requested the independent investigation after the two formal complaints about his actions.

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A senior lawyer has been appointed by Rishi Sunak to look into complaints of bullying behaviour by Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab.

Commercial and employment law specialist Adam Tolley KC will look into the claims made against Mr Raab after two formal complaints were submitted about his conduct.

Downing Street has indicated Mr Tolley’s remit could extend to other allegations about Mr Raab after a series of claims related to his time as foreign secretary and his first stint in the Ministry of Justice.

Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab arrives in Downing Street, London, ahead of a Cabinet meeting. Picture date: Tuesday November 22, 2022.
Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab arrives in Downing Street, London, ahead of a Cabinet meeting. Picture date: Tuesday November 22, 2022.

Mr Raab, who returned as Justice Secretary when the Prime Minister took office, requested the independent investigation after the two formal complaints about his actions.

Mr Tolley was appointed by the Prime Minister and will report to him.

Downing Street said Mr Sunak will not have to act on any findings made by the investigation because as Prime Minister he remains the ultimate arbiter of the Ministerial Code.

The terms of reference require Mr Tolley to “establish the specific facts” surrounding the formal complaints made against Mr Raab at the Ministry of Justice and the Foreign Office.

They specify “the investigation should be completed as swiftly as possible”.

Downing Street said the report into Mr Raab will be published in full but would not put a timeframe on the inquiry, saying only it would be detailed “in a timely way”.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said the lawyer had been appointed to “conduct the investigation, establish the facts and provide his findings”.

“He’s asked to look into those two formal complaints to establish the facts. He’s also able to discuss with the Prime Minister if he wants to look into other issues that may arise.”

Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab arrives in Downing Street, London, ahead of a Cabinet meeting. Picture date: Tuesday November 22, 2022.
Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab arrives in Downing Street, London, ahead of a Cabinet meeting. Picture date: Tuesday November 22, 2022.

In an indication that Mr Tolley may be able to interview people and get records of WhatsApp messages and emails, the spokesman said: “He will have access to all the information he wishes to see.”