UK Deputy PM Dominic Raab resigns after bullying probe

LONDON — Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab has resigned following an investigation into multiple complaints of bullying.

Raab, who also served as U.K. justice secretary, was accused of bullying behavior toward several current and former members of Whitehall staff during his tenure in government.

In a letter to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Friday, Raab — who had pledged to resign if found to have bullied staff — said it was “important to keep my word,” but warned the inquiry had “set a dangerous precedent” by “setting the threshold for bullying so low.”

Sunak tasked the senior lawyer Adam Tolley with carrying out an independent probe into the complaints following a barrage of negative media reports.

In his exit letter, Raab wrote: “Whilst I feel duty bound to accept the outcome of the inquiry, it dismissed all but two of the claims levelled against me. I also believe that its two adverse findings are flawed and set a dangerous precedent for the conduct of good government.”

Raab argued that ministers “must be able to give direct critical feedback on briefings and submissions to senior officials,” and said he had not “shouted at anyone, let alone thrown anything or otherwise physically intimidated anyone, nor intentionally sought to belittle anyone.”

“I am genuinely sorry for any unintended stress or offence that any officials felt, as a result of the pace, standards and challenge that I brought to the Ministry of Justice,” he said. “That is, however, what the public expect of ministers working on their behalf.”

Raab — who ran for Conservative leader in 2019 – previously served as U.K. foreign secretary under Boris Johnson, but was demoted in 2021 following his department’s bungled handling of the U.K. withdrawal from Afghanistan. He also served briefly as Brexit secretary under Theresa May, but quit that post in protest at her doomed Brexit deal.

This developing story is being updated.