British Deputy PM resigns after bullying allegations

LONDON: British Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab (pix) resigned on Friday, one day after an independent report into allegations that he bullied staff members while working at several government departments reached the desk of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, reported Xinhua.

An inquiry was requested by Raab in November following formal complaints about his bullying behaviour when dealing with civil servants. Sunak appointed senior employment lawyer Adam Tolley to lead an independent investigation.

In his resignation posted on Twitter, however, Raab hit out at the inquiry, saying: “In setting the threshold for bullying so low, this inquiry has set a dangerous precedent. It will encourage spurious complaints against ministers, and have a chilling effect on those driving change on behalf of your government — and ultimately the British people.”

Raab also resigned from his post of Britain’s secretary of state for justice, making him the third senior minister who has departed the Sunak administration over their personal conduct.

Gavin Williamson, a member of Sunak’s cabinet, quit in November over bullying claims and Sunak sacked the Conservative Party Chair Nadhim Zahawi in January for a “serious breach” of ministerial code amid a multimillion-dollar tax dispute.

After assuming the post of prime minister last October, Sunak vowed to lead a government of “integrity, professionalism, and accountability” as the chaotic period under his two predecessors — the scandal-hit Boris Johnson and Liz Truss, who had a short-lived tenure due to economic turbulence — damaged the reputation of the Tory Party and cast a cloud over its prospects in the next general elections. –Bernama