Dominic Raab faces campaign to sack him as MP

Parliamentary commissioner for standards urged to open inquiry that could pave way for former justice secretary’s constituents to launch recall petition

Parliament’s standards commissioner is facing demands to open an inquiry into Dominic Raab’s conduct, while a local campaign has been launched calling for the former justice secretary to step down as an MP.

The Observer understands that a complaint is being filed with Daniel Greenberg, the parliamentary commissioner for standards, arguing that the revelations over Raab’s bullying of officials could amount to “serious breaches of the code of conduct for members of parliament”.

It calls on Greenberg to examine whether Raab breached rules stating that MPs must “treat their staff and all those visiting or working for or with parliament with dignity, courtesy and respect” and “never undertake any action which would cause significant damage to the reputation and integrity of the House of Commons”.

The independent report into Raab’s conduct released last week, overseen by Adam Tolley KC, said that he had engaged in “abuse or misuse of power” to undermine or humiliate staff, as well as being “intimidating and insulting” in meetings at the Ministry of Justice. However, Raab and his allies have been adamant that he did not bully officials and that the report into his conduct set the bar for what amounts to bullying far too low.

Greenberg will have to decide whether the revelations about Raab’s behaviour fall within his remit and merit an investigation. His office does not reveal any details about inquiries until they are officially announced.

Raab’s political opponents in his marginal Esher and Walton seat are already using his resignation from the government to argue that he should also resign as an MP. The Liberal Democrats, his main opposition, have wasted no time in launching a petition for his removal – as well as using the claims of bullying to raise money for their local campaign.

Under parliamentary rules, Raab could be forced to resign as an MP only if the standards commissioner issued him with a serious sanction, endorsed by MPs. An official recall petition would then have to be signed by 10% of eligible registered voters in Raab’s seat.

Raab’s allies fear that his departure from government could spell the end of his political career, as there is little chance that he will be recalled to a ministerial post before the next election. Rishi Sunak had pledged to oversee a government of “integrity, professionalism and accountability”. He has already seen Gavin Williamson quit as Cabinet Office minister over the treatment of staff and Nadhim Zahawi sacked as Conservative party chair over his tax affairs.

Raab has not confirmed that he will run again in Esher, where he secured a majority of fewer than 3,000 votes in 2019. He said he wanted to wait for “the dust to settle” before making any decisions. “I’m very confident that the prime minister will win the next election,” Raab told the BBC after his resignation. “I think he’s done a fantastic job. And actually, as a result of that, and the strong campaign we’ve got here, I think we’re set to win here in Esher and Walton.

“It’s not ultimately my decision. It’s my local association, but I can tell you I’ve been overwhelmed with support from people, from constituents from my association, from councillors and of course from MPs. Above all, a lot of ministers now [are] very fearful that the direct challenge that they bring fairly squarely in government may leave them at risk of the same treatment that I’ve had.”


Michael Savage, Policy editor

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Dominic Raab in danger of losing seat to Lib Dems, poll suggests
Tactical voting could lead to big upsets at constituency level, according to study by Deltapoll

Michael Savage Policy editor

30, Nov, 2019 @7:40 PM

Article image
Could tactical voting result in a ‘Portillo moment’ for Dominic Raab?
The Brexiter foreign secretary’s comfortable 2017 majority is not unassailable as many Remain voters switch their allegiance

Peter Kellner

30, Nov, 2019 @7:05 PM

Article image
Dominic Raab facing more bullying claims from time as Brexit secretary
‘Serious expression of concern’ about deputy PM’s behaviour was sent to cabinet office in 2018

Michael Savage, Pippa Crerar and Toby Helm

12, Nov, 2022 @6:49 PM

Article image
Dominic Raab: more civil servants in bullying complaint than previously thought
Some officials were signed off for ‘extended periods’ while others stayed at work to protect colleagues, says complaint made by 27 staff at Ministry of Justice

Michael Savage and Toby Helm

05, Feb, 2023 @6:00 AM

Article image
Tories consider controversial plan to politicise civil service after Raab scandal
No 10 adviser urges political appointments in a radical plan following crisis over bullying

Toby Helm and Michael Savage

22, Apr, 2023 @7:33 PM

Article image
No, minister! How Dominic Raab’s aggressive exit has damaged morale of civil servants
The deputy prime minister has gone, but the way he left has further worsened tensions between government and Whitehall

Toby Helm, Political editor, and Michael Savage

23, Apr, 2023 @5:00 AM

Article image
If only Dominic Raab had watched Iron Man | Stewart Lee
The foreign secretary was in good company in woefully misjudging the Taliban threat

Stewart Lee

22, Aug, 2021 @9:00 AM

Article image
A Tudor court without a king: inside No 10 as Raab takes the reins
In the absence of Boris Johnson, how will Downing Street cope with the many Covid-19 decisions that loom?

Michael Savage

12, Apr, 2020 @6:05 AM

Article image
How long can Dominic Raab govern as a stand-in prime minister?
Boris Johnson’s hospital stay has thrust the foreign secretary into the spotlight, but his real authority is in doubt and has revealed a major flaw in the UK’s constitutional processes

Jill Rutter

12, Apr, 2020 @6:10 AM

Article image
‘Just a tough boss with high standards’: how the right tried to defend Raab
Daily Mail talks of the country becoming ‘ungovernable’ while Express bemoans loss of minister who only ‘wanted the best’ for Britain

Vanessa Thorpe Arts and media correspondent

22, Apr, 2023 @1:42 PM