Rishi Sunak appoints top barrister to investigate bullying allegations against deputy PM Dominic Raab

23 November 2022, 15:29

Rishi Sunak appoints top KC to investigate bullying claims against Dominic Raab
Rishi Sunak appoints top KC to investigate bullying claims against Dominic Raab. Picture: Alamy

By Stephen Rigley

Rishi Sunak has appointed a top barrister - who once represented the King - to investigate bullying allegations against Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab.

Adam Tolley KC has been employed to lead a probe into claims about Mr Raab's behaviour.

Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab
Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab. Picture: Alamy
Adam Tolley who will lead the inquiry into Dominic Raab
Adam Tolley who will lead the inquiry into Dominic Raab. Picture: social media

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Mr Raab is facing two formal complaints about his conduct while he was foreign secretary and during his first spell in the Ministry of Justice.

Mr Sunak last week backed Mr Raab's request for an 'independent investigation' into the allegations, which the Cabinet minister has vowed to 'thoroughly rebut and refute'. 

Downing Street has now decided that Mr Tolley will lead that probe, during which will be supported by Cabinet Office staff.

Mr Sunak's official spokesman said: "The Prime Minister has appointed Adam Tolley KC to conduct the investigation, establish the facts and provide his findings.

"He's been asked to look into those two formal complaints to establish the facts."

No10 suggested the probe into Mr Raab's behaviour could yet be widened, with reports he might soon be facing multiple formal complaints from civil servants.

The PM's spokesman said Mr Tolley would "be able to discuss, should he wish, any changes to scope beyond those two formal complaints".

Mr Raab last week dismissed claims he had once hurled tomatoes from a salad across a room in a fit of anger.

Amid a slew of allegations about Mr Raab's past behaviour, Lord McDonald - who was the top civil servant at the Foreign Office when Mr Raab led the department - recently claimed staff were "scared" to enter the minister's office.

Mr Tolley represented King Charles in a tribunal case in 2005 when a former secretary of the then Prince of Wales lost her case for unfair dismissal and sexual discrimination at Clarence House.

No10 said a report of the KC's investigation would be 'published in a timely way' and confirmed Mr Tolley would have 'access to all the information he wishes to see' as he conducts his probe.

Downing Street did not commit to the probe being completed by Christmas. and stressed that Mr Sunak himself would 'remain the arbiter of the ministerial code' and the PM would make decision on any potential breaches of ministerial rules.


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