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Downing Street

UK union leader says civil servants 'bullied' by Dominic Raab suffered mental health crises

Raab was appointed Deputy Prime Minister under Rishi Sunak.

UK CIVIL SERVANTS WHO were allegedly bullied by Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab have “suffered mental health crises”, according to a union leader.

Dozens of civil servants in Britain are believed to be involved in eight formal complaints against Raab. Three permanent secretaries who led officials working under Raab at the Foreign Office, Ministry of Justice and Brexit department are thought to have spoken to the inquiry.

Downing Street has claimed Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was not aware of any formal complaints against Raab when he appointed the MP as Deputy Prime Minister, but has refused to comment on what information he had been given.

Both Raab and Sunak have come under pressure from the public and the FDA, a trade union that represents civil servants.

Speaking to Sky News today, FDA general secretary Dave Penman said: “I’ve spoken to people who are civil servants working and have worked for Dominic Raab, who have suffered mental health crises, have lost their careers essentially because they’ve had to move and change jobs.”

Sunak’s official spokesman declined today to comment on Penman’s claim about officials’ mental health being adversely affected by working with Raab while the investigation is ongoing.

Penman said the Prime Minister should “come clean”, adding that he is being “asked about whether he was aware of any informal concerns about Dominic Raab and, once again, he is refusing to answer that point”.

Allies of Dominic Raab have suggested that civil servants are trying to push him out, with one former colleague telling the Daily Mail that “there is a clear attempt by a group of politically motivated mandarins to get him”.

However, Penman described such claims as “extraordinary” and said “it couldn’t be further from the truth”.

“Are we really seeing two dozen civil servants in three different Government departments over a period of four years have got together in some massive conspiracy? That just doesn’t sound credible.”

The union leader said he was “astonished” by senior Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg’s warning to people against being “too snowflakey” about bullying allegations.

“This sort of behaviour destroys lives. I mean it’s not just about careers, people’s lives and their mental health are at risk when they are subject to systematic bullying, and to belittle it in that way is absolutely outrageous from a former leader of the House and cabinet minister,” Penman said.

He repeated his call for Raab to be suspended pending the probe.

Opposition parties have called Sunak “weak” for resisting such a move.

Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey said: “It goes to the weakness of the Prime Minister that he’s not prepared to take action when faced with the facts.

“And one of the things we’d like to see is the independent adviser on ethical standards look into what the Prime Minister knew and when with respect to these allegations of bullying against Dominic Raab,” Davey said.

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