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Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Dominic Raab: Senior civil servant gives evidence to bullying probe

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At least one permanent secretary who worked with Dominic Raab has given evidence as a witness to the inquiry into the deputy prime minister’s behaviour, the BBC has been told.

This shows the bullying investigation is now speaking to figures who have served at the top of government.

Permanent secretaries are the UK’s most senior civil servants who run government departments.

Mr Raab has denied allegations of bullying.

Senior lawyer Adam Tolley KC is investigating complaints about Mr Raab’s behaviour in several ministerial roles.

The MP for Esher and Walton previously served as justice secretary and deputy prime minister in Boris Johnson’s government.

He was sacked under former prime minister Liz Truss, but reappointed to these roles under her successor, Rishi Sunak.

He previously served in the cabinet as foreign secretary from 2020-21 and Brexit secretary in 2018.

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Eight formal complaints have been made against Mr Raab.

These include six from his time at the Ministry of Justice, one from his period at the Foreign Office, and one from his time at the former Department for Exiting the European Union.

Individuals are being invited to give evidence by Mr Tolley.

The BBC understands that some staff who have not directly complained are now offering to act as witnesses to the inquiry.

The BBC has been told that at least one of the permanent secretaries who worked with Mr Raab in a government department has given evidence to the inquiry as a witness.

Separately, the BBC has found that other civil servants who allegedly planned to file complaints did not. This decision came after they were told they would have been identified to Mr Raab as part of the investigation by Mr Tolley.

It is understood that it is standard practice for an investigation not to take testimony from anonymous sources.

It has been suggested that some feared being identified in case Mr Raab remains in post, and he would know they had complained about him.

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