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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Dominic Raab Faces Campaign to Sack him as MP

Dominic Raab Faces Campaign to Sack him as MP – Calls are being made for the Parliament’s standards commissioner to investigate Dominic Raab’s behavior, and a local campaign is urging him to resign as an MP. The Observer has learned that a complaint is being lodged with Daniel Greenberg, the parliamentary commissioner for standards. The complaint alleges that Raab’s reported mistreatment of officials may constitute serious violations of the code of conduct for members of parliament.

It calls on Greenberg to examine whether Raab breached rules stating that MPs must “treat their staff and all those visiting or working for or with parliament with dignity, courtesy and respect” and “never undertake any action which would cause significant damage to the reputation and integrity of the House of Commons.”

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The independent report into Raab’s conduct released last week, overseen by Adam Tolley KC, said that he had engaged in “abuse or misuse of power” to undermine or humiliate staff, as well as being “intimidating and insulting” in meetings at the Ministry of Justice. Raab and his supporters have consistently maintained that he did not engage in bullying behavior and have argued that the standards used in the report to define bullying were inadequate.

Greenberg must determine whether the information about Raab’s behavior falls under his jurisdiction and warrants an investigation. However, his office does not disclose any information about inquiries until they are officially announced. Raab’s political opponents in his closely contested Esher and Walton constituency are already leveraging his resignation from the government to argue for his resignation as an MP. 

The Liberal Democrats, his primary opposition, have quickly launched a petition for his removal and are also using the bullying allegations to raise funds for their local campaign. According to parliamentary regulations, Raab can only be compelled to resign as an MP if the standards commissioner imposes a significant penalty approved by MPs. A formal recall petition would then require signatures from 10% of eligible registered voters in Raab’s constituency.

Those aligned with Raab are concerned that his resignation from the government may signify the conclusion of his political career since it’s unlikely that he will be reinstated to a ministerial position prior to the next election. Rishi Sunak had promised to lead a government that embodies “integrity, professionalism, and accountability.” He has already witnessed Gavin Williamson’s departure as Cabinet Office Minister due to his treatment of employees and the dismissal of Nadhim Zahawi as the Conservative Party Chair over his tax issues.

Raab has not confirmed that he will run again in Esher, where he secured a majority of fewer than 3,000 votes in 2019. He said he wanted to wait for “the dust to settle” before making any decisions. “I’m very confident that the prime minister will win the next election,” Raab told the BBC after his resignation. “I think he’s done a fantastic job. And actually, as a result of that, and the strong campaign we’ve got here, I think we’re set to win here in Esher and Walton.”

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“It’s not ultimately my decision. It’s my local association, but I can tell you I’ve been overwhelmed with support from people, from constituents from my association, from councilors and of course from MPs. Above all, a lot of ministers now are very fearful that the direct challenge that they bring fairly squarely in government may leave them at risk of the same treatment that I’ve had.”

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