Dominic Raab has had to resign from the government, due to an investigation into allegations of bullying having found that there was sufficient evidence to justify an adverse finding. Sorry about the complexity of that sentence, but he has not been found guilty, only that he has a case to answer. There was some question as to whether the Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak would fire him or not. Raab saved him the problem by resigning in an extraordinary, apology free self-justifying resignation letter.
There have been two parliamentary responses, the first is that the Liberal Democrats have rightly referred these events the parliamentary commissioner on standards, the second by some Tories that they rewrite the rules governing ministers’ behaviour towards civil servants.
This is one of the most publicly visible stories showing the endemic occurrence of bullying within the workplace and the consensus of tolerance of such behaviour. Raab’s failure to apologise is symptomatic of an attitude pervasive within British management. He thinks he did nothing wrong and there will be many managers who agree. There is no excuse, the trade union movement and the law have developed definitions of bullying.
Bullying includes: offensive, intimidating, malicious, or insulting behaviour; abuse of authority which violates the dignity of an individual or a group of people; creating a hostile environment against an individual; and the undermining, humiliation or injury of an individual.
Tribunals do not consider bullying to be a crime although I have read some lawyers material that suggests that legal remedy can be sought through the Crown Court system; neither of these offer timely relief which is why the collusion by managements in supporting senior officers against allegations of bullying is so damaging. Raab’s refusal to apologise and to blame the victims is just one expression of this widespread view that managers have to be tough. The Tories have already let Patel off on the grounds she didn’t mean it, Raab is seeking to extend arguments in defence of bullying charges to arguing that it wasn’t bullying, it was merely effective management communication. I am also curious about the argument that I was accused of six acts and only found to have misbehaved twice. i.e. only a little bullying is permitted.