ominous Raab has defended himself against allegations of bullying and using his personal email for government business as Rishi Sunak continued to support his embattled deputy.
The deputy prime minister said he had always adhered to the ministerial code and acted “professionally” when new bullying claims emerged.
Downing Street said on Thursday the prime minister still had full confidence in him as some of Mr Raab’s former private secretaries were expected to file formal complaints against his behaviour.
I always adhere to the ministerial code
The allegations, if made, could feed into the investigation into Mr Raab being conducted into two formal complaints of bullying by senior barrister Adam Tolley KC.
Mr Raab told the TUSEN: “I have behaved professionally at all times and I am the one who, when the complaint came in a few days ago, was the first one against me since I have been a minister since 2015. called for an independent investigation and I look forward to dealing with it fully and transparently rather than dealing with anonymous comments in the media.
“I always adhere to the ministerial code, even when using my iPhone.
“I have always sought advice on appropriate resources, especially as Secretary of State and when dealing with a range of sensitive issues, and have always been very careful to protect the integrity of any communications I have.”
A source confirmed that several senior officials who worked closely with Mr Raab were preparing to file the complaints, as first reported by Newsnight.
Liberal Democrat leader Wendy Chamberlain demanded an investigation after it was also found that Mr Raab had used his personal email account for government affairs.
Allies of the Justice Secretary insisted there were no breaches of the ministerial code because he copied an appropriate government email address when the guidelines required it.
They also argued that he only used his personal account to approve short-term tweets and quotes with his team.
But Ms Chamberlain said: “The public deserves answers, not more cover-ups.
“The Deputy Prime Minister cannot be relaxed about national security, especially at a time when Britain’s enemies are stepping up their cyber-attacks.
“It is only right that the Cabinet Office should investigate these reports and determine immediately whether enemies overseas have seen national secrets sent by Dominic Raab.”
But Downing Street supported Mr Raab and rejected suggestions that the inquiry would be a whitewash, despite Mr Sunak’s ability to dismiss his findings.
“It is a long-standing convention that the current prime minister is the arbiter of the (ministerial) code and the final decision maker on issues like this,” said the prime minister’s official spokesperson.
“The investigator investigating this is highly experienced and has an appropriate background, and will have access to everything they need to conduct a thorough and rapid investigation.”
The spokesperson also defended Mr Raab over his email usage after Newsnight shared allegations that he used his personal email account for government affairs in two different departments, as he did last year.
“Ministers can use different forms of communication,” he said.
“As long as they adhere to those guidelines, there is no binary restriction on the use of personal email addresses.”
Deputy Labor leader Angela Rayner said: “There must be no trace of money laundering when it comes to the series of serious allegations now facing the Deputy Prime Minister.
“The scope of this investigation should be expanded immediately to allow for proactive investigations into Dominic Raab’s conduct while in office, including so-called expressions of concern, informal complaints and the related testimony of his own former permanent secretary.”