Sunak to make decision on Dominic Raab’s future ‘as quickly as he can’

Ministers have insisted it is “fair” that Rishi Sunak takes his time to ponder whether to sack Dominic Raab, with the fate of the Deputy Prime Minister hanging in the balance after the Prime Minister received a report into whether he bullied officials.

After being accused of “dither”, Mr Sunak was taking a second day to determine whether he will kick Mr Raab out of his Cabinet as he reviews senior lawyer Adam Tolley KC’s investigation.

Mr Sunak received the report on Thursday morning but Downing Street was unable to say if the Prime Minister’s verdict, and the report itself, will come on Friday.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper defended the time taken by Mr Sunak to reach a decision, insisting that he would come to a conclusion “as quickly as he can”.

A source close to Mr Raab said the Prime Minister has not asked him to resign and denied the pair had held talks over his future.

No 10 had promised that the Prime Minister’s verdict on the eight formal allegations would be published “swiftly”.

But as a decision was delayed a Downing Street source said Mr Sunak was “taking time to go through the report thoroughly”.

“I think actually that’s the fair thing to do both for the complainants, who made some serious complaints, but also for Dominic Raab,” he told BBC Breakfast.

“I think for both sides in this the Prime Minister should take the time.”

But Labour accused Mr Sunak of lacking the “guts” to sack his ally and said the decision was distracting him from leading the country.

Shadow attorney general Emily Thornberry told PA: “I think it’s another example of Conservative chaos and not addressing the problems of the country.

“He’s going to spend tonight looking at the report and trying to summon up the courage to work out whether he should sack his deputy or not when really what he should be doing is focusing on a cost-of-living crisis.

“He’s got the report, read the report, if he’s a bully, sack him.”

“I do think the Prime Minister could have shown a bit more compassion to everyone involved in making the complaint and spoken to them personally about what they could expect and when they could expect it,” she told Sky News.

“The Prime Minister didn’t have to announce that he was going to make a decision yesterday and I think that’s obviously what’s fuelled all of this.”

If Mr Sunak decides to keep Mr Raab on, morale in the Civil Service could be dented without a convincing argument. There have been suggestions that senior Ministry of Justice officials could quit if he is cleared.

Rishi Sunak
The Prime Minister received the report on Thursday morning (Charles McQuillan/PA)

“It feels like almost every week there is an issue with sleaze and scandal where Rishi Sunak is either implicated himself or too weak to get to grips with it.

“People are crying out for a Government that will just get on with tackling the issues that matter, not focused on saving their own skin.”

The eight complaints against Mr Raab centre on his behaviour as foreign secretary, Brexit secretary and during his first stint as justice secretary.

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