A long-awaited report into bullying allegations against Dominic Raab has been handed to Number 10 – with the prime minister “carefully considering” its findings.
Mr Raab, the deputy prime minister and justice secretary, has been subject to an independent investigation by senior lawyer Adam Tolley KC since November last year.
Rishi Sunak’s spokesperson said the prime minister had received the findings “this morning”.
He said the PM’s previous expression of having “full confidence” in Mr Raab “still stands”.
But “obviously he’s carefully considering the findings of the report before coming to a judgment”, the spokesperson added.
Downing Street would not indicate when the report will be published but insisted a resolution will be sought “as swiftly as possible”.
Mr Tolley was tasked with determining whether Mr Raab had bullied civil servants during his time as both foreign secretary from 2019 to 2021, and then justice secretary from 2021 to 2022 under Boris Johnson’s premiership.
Throughout the investigation, Mr Raab has insisted he “behaved professionally at all times” and pointed out he called the inquiry into himself when the accusations were made.
He told Sky News in February he would resign if the inquiry found he had bullied staff.
Mr Sunak now holds the cards to Mr Raab’s future as the ministerial code states the prime minister is the ultimate judge of the standards expected of a minister.
The prime minister can also determine what the appropriate consequences are in the event of a breach of ministerial standards.
What are the allegations against Dominic Raab?
Mr Sunak has insisted since the inquiry began he would wait until it is concluded before he makes a decision, despite facing calls to suspend Mr Raab while the investigation took place.
Mr Tolley is understood to have spoken to dozens of witnesses, including top civil servants and Mr Johnson, following claims Mr Raab created a “culture of fear” at the Ministry of Justice, and allegations that he was “very rude and aggressive”.
Colleagues were allegedly “scared” to go into his office when he was foreign secretary, former permanent secretary Lord McDonald has said.
However, a Tory MP who formerly worked as a parliamentary private secretary to Dominic Raab said his ex-boss was always “courteous and professional” with his staff.
Speaking after the report was handed to Downing Street, Gareth Johnson told Sky News he can “only go by what I witnessed”, but added: “Not once did I ever witness him behaving in a manner that could be described as bullying.”
Mr Raab remained at work as the findings were handed over to Downing Street, responding to Crown Prosecution Service statistics on rape cases.
He issued a tweet and statement on the issue in his role as Justice Secretary.
The cabinet minister funded his own legal team to defend against the allegations, it emerged on Wednesday.
The declaration in the heavily delayed register of ministerial interests came despite taxpayers footing an estimated £222,000 bill for former prime minister Boris Johnson’s legal fees in the partygate inquiry into whether he lied to MPs.
In the register, Mr Raab’s entry notes read: “The minister has engaged lawyers at his own expense in relation to the investigation being conducted by Adam Tolley KC.”