The Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab has been the subject of a single official complaint, representing the concerns of 27 of his officials. The complaint has been submitted to the independent investigation into Raab’s behaviour during his ministerial career, and it suggests the number of civil servants covered by complaints is larger than previously thought.
It’s a story that has been making headlines, and one that raises questions about the integrity of government and the way complaints against ministers are handled. Could this be the moment when the system changes?
The complaint, first raised internally early last year, states that the combination of work pressure and unreasonable deadlines has had a major impact on the mental and physical health of some colleagues, to the point where they have needed to take time off for extended periods. Other colleagues have felt the need to stay at work to prevent additional pressure being placed on their colleagues.
The investigation into Raab is a huge problem for Rishi Sunak, and it could take weeks or more to conclude due to the amount of evidence that has been presented. Senior Whitehall officials have been impressed with the inquiry so far, and the source who has discussed the complaints with some of the civil servants says that the inquiry must not be rushed.
Jake Berry, the former Tory chairman, has said that Raab should stand down while the investigation is complete, and that ministers should be treated “like anyone else”. A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said that there is zero tolerance for bullying across the civil service and that there is an independent investigation under way.
It will be interesting to see how this story develops, and whether it will lead to a change in the way complaints against ministers are handled. It is clear that something needs to be done to ensure that justice is served and that the integrity of the government is maintained. Stay tuned for more updates on this developing story.