Dominic Raab is “not just one bad apple” in Westminster and a wider inquiry is needed into ministerial bullying, the leader of a union which represents senior Whitehall staff has said.
Following the Deputy Prime Minister’s resignation on Friday, Dave Penman warned misconduct by senior members of Government is more widespread than Prime Minister Rishi Sunak wants to admit.
One in six senior civil servants have witnessed “misconduct” in the last year alone, according to research by the union.
“This demonstrates that Raab is not just one bad apple, and there is a wider problem with ministerial bullying than the Prime Minister wants to admit,” Mr Penman said.
Mr Raab’s “obviously reluctant tone and dismissal of the complaints” in his resignation demonstrate why he has been forced out of Cabinet, the union leader suggested.
“The Prime Minister may have been left with no choice today, but he still has serious questions to answer over what he knew when he appointed Raab as Deputy Prime Minister in October,” Mr Penman said.
“The sad reality is that if he had appointed him to any other government department, his behaviour would, in all likelihood, still be going unchecked.
“Bullying blights people’s lives and careers. It also gets in the way of government working effectively and efficiently.
“This investigation must be the seminal moment when the Prime Minister recognises that he has a duty to protect civil servants from the misconduct of ministers, and that the current system is neither fit for purpose nor commands the confidence of the very people it is supposed to protect.”
He added: “Given the scale of complaints against Dominic Raab and the evidence we have produced of a wider problem, the Prime Minister must now launch an independent inquiry into ministerial bullying, along the lines of the inquiry conducted by Dame Laura Cox KC commissioned under similar circumstances in Parliament.”