Rishi Sunak is facing problems on multiple fronts as controversy deepens over the appointment of Dominic Raab as justice secretary and his two predecessors as prime minister seek to tell him how to do his job .
On Friday, Downing Street did not deny media reports that a written complaint about Raab’s behavior had reached the center of government before Sunak was appointed to the Justice Ministry in October last year.
Number 10 insisted the prime minister had not been told of any “formal complaints”, but declined to say whether Cabinet Secretary Simon Case made him aware of any written complaints about Raab Was.
Some Conservative MPs believe Raab should step aside while Adam Tolley is under investigation into allegations by Casey that the Justice Secretary intimidated civil servants, causing further political damage to the Prime Minister and the government.
A former Conservative minister said, “This is getting ridiculous.” “It goes on and on. It tires you out.
On Saturday, former party chairman Sir Jake Berry asked Raab to step down.
Berry told the BBC: “When you have 24 charges pending against you – I read in the paper that there are 24 – it would be very strange if you had someone at another workplace who was not suspended pending that inquiry Are.”
Berry said that “MPs and ministers are not special people – I think they should be treated like anyone else in their workplace”.
Downing Street stated that Sunak was awaiting the conclusion of the Tolley report before deciding Raab’s fate; This did not contradict a report in The Times that Case had been personally informed of a written complaint about Raab before Sunak reappointed him as Justice Secretary.
A person familiar with the process told the Financial Times that at the time of his appointment, Raab had several written complaints related to his conduct in his first term as justice secretary from September 2021 to September 2022.
Raab has denied bullying and Number 10 has said that Sunak had launched an independent investigation upon “being made aware of formal complaints”.
A person familiar with the investigation insisted that civil servants made no formal complaints about Raab’s behavior because they doubted that then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson would approve the inquiry.
However, the person insisted the Cabinet Office’s propriety and ethics team, which briefs prime ministers on ministerial appointments, had been made aware in writing of complaints about Raab’s conduct.
The Cabinet Office said that anyone making a written complaint would have to choose whether to make a “formal complaint”, which would then trigger a formal process.
Downing Street said: “There are procedures within departments for civil servants to make a formal complaint. Those procedures are known to civil servants should they wish to make a formal complaint.
Sunak was asked repeatedly in a BBC interview at the G20 in Bali last November whether he had been made aware of informal complaints against Raab. He only said that he was not aware of any formal complaint.
Asked if Kess failed to pass on written complaints about Raab, Number 10 said: “We are not going to process appointments or advice that the Prime Minister does or does not receive.”
The case is already facing heavy criticism for failing to maintain high standards in government and allegedly not protecting the interests of civil servants, including senior officers.
Meanwhile, Sunak, weakened by several rows over his cabinet appointments, now faces the additional problem of taking public advice from his two predecessors as prime minister.
Liz Truss, whose disastrous 44-day premiership ended last October, will break her silence this weekend in a long article in a Sunday newspaper in which she is expected to renew her calls for immediate tax cuts. Is.
The truce, unfazed by the dismantling of his own economic policy last year, is expected to increase pressure on Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to announce tax cuts in his March budget to boost the economy.
Hunt and Sunak have made it clear that significant tax cuts will have to wait and that fighting inflation is the main target, but Truss is among a growing number of Tory MPs who are now calling for action.
Meanwhile, Johnson, who resigned as prime minister last September, has asked Sunak to send more tanks to Ukraine on top of the 14 Challenger 2s the UK has already committed.
In an interview with his close colleague Nadine Dorries on TalkTV, Johnson said on Friday: “I tell you this, Nadine, it wouldn’t be a bad thing if we tanked ourselves a few more.”
Sunak has insisted he is not irritated by Johnson’s high-profile campaigning for Ukraine, which has included visits to Kyiv and Washington. However, he has pointed out that he has increased military support for Ukraine compared to the levels he sent while Johnson was in office.
Also in the interview, Johnson, who is facing a House of Commons inquiry into whether he misled MPs by insisting he broke no rules with parties during the coronavirus lockdown, stuck to his stance that he never knowingly Didn’t violate any rules.
He appeared alongside Conservative MPs demanding tax cuts ahead of the next general election.
“I have no doubt that, when the time comes, the government will make sure they start reducing the tax burden and get the economy growing again and that’s how it should be,” Johnson told Dorries.