Upset Ministry of Justice staff accuse Raab of hurling Pret salad during tirade about briefings

12 November 2022, 08:12

Dominic Raab faced accusations about his behaviour to staff and 'throwing a Pret salad around'
Dominic Raab faced accusations about his behaviour to staff and 'throwing a Pret salad around'. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

Disgruntled Ministry of Justice staff have accused Dominic Raab of throwing tomatoes around during a "tirade" at the department.

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The deputy prime minister and justice secretary was said to have become furious during a meeting in June.

It's been claimed he became angry at his briefings and plucked three tomatoes from his Pret salad before hurling them into a bag.

And it has also been reported staff anxious about his return to the job have been offered a way out. He was sacked by Liz Truss in September when she brought in her supporters to the Cabinet.

A spokesman for Mr Raab dismissed the salad throwing claims as "complete nonsense".

Read more: Matt Hancock admitted he made ‘a pretty big mistake’ when it came to breaking rules after he ‘fell in love’ with his aide

An insider claimed on Friday: "Raab wasn't happy with the way he was being briefed. He began a tirade, opened his Pret salad and threw three tomatoes out into a bag across the table making a loud noise."

It has also been reported that civil servants worried about Mr Raab's return are being offered a way out of the Ministry of Justice.

Dominic Raab is known to be a lover of Pret
Dominic Raab is known to be a lover of Pret. Picture: Alamy

"Heads sat us all down and gave us the chance to air our feelings because they knew we were all upset. It was an awful atmosphere when it was announced, like impending doom," one source told The Sun, in which Mr Raab was dubbed "rocket man".

Meanwhile, The Guardian said the MoJ's permanent secretary Antonia Romeo told him to treat staff with respect, with one source describing the scene as her "read[ing] him the riot act".

Angela Rayner, Labour's deputy leader, said: "These deeply troubling accusations of bullying and intimidation raise yet more questions about Rishi Sunak's judgment. The prime minister must come clean on what he knew about these allegations when he reappointed Dominic Raab as deputy prime minister as well as justice secretary, and they must be investigated urgently and independently."

An MoJ spokeswoman said: "There is zero tolerance for bullying across the civil service.

"The Deputy Prime Minister leads a professional department, driving forward major reforms, where civil servants are valued and the level of ambition is high."

The focus on Mr Raab's behaviour will be more unwelcome news for Rishi Sunak, who has had to defend other controversial appointments to his Government.

Having promised a professional team of ministers in the wake of Liz Truss's disastrous tenure at No10, he has already seen Gavin Williamson quit after damaging bullying accusations.

He has also reappointed Suella Braverman, whose time as home secretary has seen her describe her "dream" of deporting asylum seekers to Rwanda, characterise the influx of small boat crossings over the Channel as an "invasion" and go through controversy about alleged squalid conditions at sometimes overcrowded migrant processing facilities.

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