The Raab Resignation

Dominic Raab had promised that he would resign from the government if the report into allegations that he had bullied civil servants upheld any of the complaints against him. Although some of the complaints were dismissed, some were upheld and today he kept that promise.

Here is the text of Rishi Sunak's reply to his resignation.

"Dear Dominic, 

Thank you for your letter notifying me of your decision to resign from your position in His Majesty's Government as Deputy Prime Minister and Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice. It is with great sadness that I have accepted your resignation.

"When I became Prime Minister in October last year, I pledged that the Government I lead would have integrity, professionalism and accountability at every level. The Ministerial Code requires ministers to uphold the highest standards.

"When formal complaints about your conduct in different ministerial posts were submitted last year, I appointed at your request an independent investigator to conduct a full investigation into the specific facts surrounding these complaints.

“Adam Tolley KC has now submitted his report and I have carefully considered its findings, as well as consulting the Independent Adviser on Ministers' Interests.

"As you say, you had - rightly - undertaken to resign if the report made any finding of bullying whatsoever. You have kept your word. But it is clear that there have been shortcomings in the historic process that have negatively affected everyone involved. We should learn from this how to better handle such matters in future.

"But your resignation should not make us forget your record of delivery in both this Government and previous administrations. These achievements should make you extremely proud.

"Most recently as Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor, you have put the rights of victims at the heart of our criminal justice system through our landmark Victims and Prisoners Bill, as well as increasing sentences for violent criminals, reforming the probation system, and pushing forward the biggest prison-building programme this country has seen in over a century.

"As Foreign Secretary, you were a major driving force of the 2021 Integrated Review, conceiving and delivering the Indo-Pacific tilt. I know the personal drive you also displayed to create the UK's new independent sanctions regime and in our response to the undermining of human rights and democracy in Hong Kong.

"During the Covid crisis, you stepped in when the then Prime Minister was hospitalised. You provided the country - and your Cabinet colleagues - with reassurance and leadership at a moment of profound national concern. As Chancellor at the time, I was struck by the collegiate way in which you handled this most difficult of challenges.

"I will always be grateful for your steadfast personal support during last year's Conservative Party leadership contest from the day you introduced me at the launch to the last day of the contest. The subsequent dedication, commitment and loyalty with which you have discharged your responsibilities as Deputy Prime Minister has been typical of your belief in public service.

"I look forward to receiving your support from the backbenches as you continue to passionately represent your constituents of Esher and Walton. Thank you for your service to this and previous Governments and I wish you and your family every possible success for the future.

"Yours Sincerely,

Rishi Sunak"

I note that the one thing which both Dominic Raab and the civil service union agree on is that there needs to be a better process for handling allegations such as those which were made against him, and I am pleased that the PM acknowledges this. I hope it will quickly be put in place.

Comments

Paul Holdsworth said…
And of course, we now see just how big a mistake it was to leave him in post while the investigation was ongoing. Not that it would have been the right decision to leave him in post if he'd subsequently been exonerated - the precautionary principle should have been applied.
Chris Whiteside said…
Interesting to read your view that under your idea of the precautionary principle someone who is accused of something but exonerated should not be allowed to remain in post.

I can't fully express what I really think about that comment without breaking my own rules for this blog, so I'll just make it clear that I disagree.
Paul Holdsworth said…
Wow, you MUST be under pressure to misread my comment that badly!

To belabour you about the head with it: it is always prudent to suspend someone facing serious accusations of significant misconduct WHILE INVESTIGATIONS ARE ONGOING, whether or not they are subsequently found to be guilty. Obviously if they are exonerated they should get a fulsome apology and returned to post.

Get it now, Chris?

Chris Whiteside said…
Your exact words were

"Not that it would have been the right decision to leave him in post if he'd subsequently been exonerated. The precautionary principle should have been applied."

I am very relieved to have the clarification of what you actually meant and I apologise for misunderstanding you.
Paul Holdsworth said…
On reflection, I appreciate that my initial comment was open to misinterpretation. But I was dumbfounded that you could even think I might have meant it in that way - hence the rather brutal clarification. So apologies for that, too.
Chris Whiteside said…
Apology accepted.

I can appreciate your point. I will admit that I was quite shocked by what I thought you were saying and with hindsight I should probably have reread it to see if I might have misunderstood.

As I hope I made clear, I was quite glad to find that I had indeed misunderstood you. I published your clarification the instant I saw it and immediately wrote an explanation and apology.

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