Another minister accused of harassment, Rishi Sunak under pressure

The storm never ends. It is the turn of British Attorney General Dominic Raab to be accused of harassment towards his staff. The newspaper The Guardian reported on Friday evening that officials in the department had been offered an “exit door” as some feared working again with the former justice secretary under Boris Johnson, between September 2021 and September 2022. The British daily, ministry staff described a “culture of fear” within a service led by a “rude” and “aggressive” man. “He wasn’t just unprofessional, he was a bully.”

The newspaper reports that his re-appointment to the post he vacated during the short-lived Liz Truss government has caused anguish for many civil servants, with some considering resignation. For its part tabloid The sun reports that Dominic Raab allegedly threw tomatoes in a fit of anger during a meeting that his spokesman called “nonsense”, pointing out that “Dominic works hard and expects a lot from his team and himself”.

Williamson before him

While Rishi Sunak and his Conservative government took office less than three weeks ago, he is the second minister to face such allegations. Already on Tuesday evening, British minister without portfolio Gavin Williamson had announced his resignation following accusations of harassment.

In particular, he would have offended the former “whip” (responsible for the discipline of the Conservative MPs) for complaining about not being invited to the funeral of Elizabeth II. Others report that he told an official to “cut his throat” and “throw himself out the window”.

Labor wants explanations

These allegations lead to questions about the choices made by Rishi Sunak’s team. Labor deputy leader Angela Rayner called for an “urgent and independent” investigation.

The Prime Minister’s Office, the Conservative Party and the parliamentary harassment commission have opened investigations into the controversial minister, who has already been sacked from two governments under Theresa May and then under Boris Johnson. Rishi Sunak condemned “unacceptable reprehensible conduct” but assured he was not aware of “specific concerns” when he appointed him.

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