Downing Street have confirmed the investigation into Dominic Raab’s conduct is now looking into eight complaints, five more than Lawyer Adam Tolley KC was already investigating. All five come from the within the Ministry of Justice. No10’s spokesperson said this afternoon:
“I can confirm that the PM has now asked the investigator to include five further formal complaints relating to conduct at the Ministry of Justice as part of the ongoing investigation and in line with existing terms… We think it’s right that there’s an independent process and that the investigator looks into these claims thoroughly before coming to a view.”
Twelve years in Parliament, most of those in government, and only after a concerted pile-on do these allegations appear. That’s the sound of the lobby salivating at the prospect of another scalp…
The government has asked Adam Tolley KC to investigate two formal complaints into the Deputy PM, after Raab referred himself to Rishi during the G20. Unlike Lord Geidt’s old investigations, the findings will be made public. No. 10 still to get on and appoint a new full-time standards commissioner…
Another day, another attempt by a cabal of passive-aggressive civil servants to get Dominic Raab sacked. The latest accusation, via Playbook, is that Dominic Raab was “super uptight” about the formatting of Ministerial Submissions during his time at the Foreign Office.
He was said to dismiss submissions that were not formatted how he liked them… Raab even created a grading regime for submissions, and civil service bosses would be held responsible if their team received regular low grades. At one point three directors-general found themselves working on a single submission for the best part of a week to ensure Raab wouldn’t just bin it. Officials said they felt the department had become cowed and overworked in a bid to manage the minister’s ego rather than enact meaningful change.
Even without context, this allegation seems a ludicrous complaint with which to try and ruin a ministerial career…
Guido has managed to track down a Whitehall official familiar with Raab’s preferences for Ministerial Submissions, who paints a more reasonable explanation behind what the Deputy PM wanted and why.
The main demand from Raab’s template was to ensure submissions clearly spelt out what decisions were required and which provided relevant options, information and advice – not, as those with axes to grind are briefing, an unnecessary obsession with spelling and formatting. These so-called demanding requirements included:
The spelling requirement, therefore, was more a canary in a coal mine than an end in itself. If the spelling was wrong, it was likely not enough attention had been given to the proposals themselves.
Forcing one senior civil service to put their name to the work assigned responsibility to an individual. It also avoided the document being sent round several desks and resulting in the proposal looking like a “Frankenstein’s monster”.
A Whitehall official who supports Raab says:
Some civil servants may have resented the standards expected of them, some may have felt Raab was too process-driven and not flexible enough, but it’s hard not to conclude that some civil servants involved simply are trying to remove a minister they didn’t like working for by deliberate and misleading leaks to the media
Let’s see what nonsense allegations tomorrow brings…
The deputies faced each other. Angela of Ashton-Under-Lyne was going to have deputy Dominic for a late brunch. All of us wanted to watch. How politics degrades us.
She started responsibly, like a greedy eater longing for dessert but having to get through three soup and savoury courses first. Solidarity with Ukraine, we had to have. Serious face emoji. Multinationals and tax havens. Every pound in a tax haven, she claimed, was a pound lost to the British tax payer. This idea of 100% taxation may be why these people shelter their revenues. It’s not unreasonable. But there was no time to unpick that, we were onto our place in the world economy. She made the same claim as Rachel Reeves made yesterday (we were bottom) and she received the same response (we have record employment).
And then, at last, we were into the sugar rush sequence of sticky toffee Spotted Dick in a bed of jam, cream and custard trifle. “After days of dodging and denial, he finally acknowledged complaints about his conduct.” But, she went on, incredulously, there was no hint of admission of guilt, or even an apology. “This is Anti-bullying Week. Will he apologise?”
Would he apologise for being accused of bullying? That wasn’t very British. There was something oriental about it. By 2050 we may be more adapted to the Chinese way of doing things.
Conservative backbenchers came out in force to attack Labour’s partisan anti-bullying campaigns at PMQs today. Rees-Mogg reminded the House of a string of cases perpetrated by the Opposition, and Lee Anderson highlighted their hounding of the Home Secretary. The lobby won’t like that…
Raab obviously not taking this briefing war lying down, as much as Rayner tried making a meal of it. At one point she even parroted Trump’s “drain the swamp” line for some reason…