Nadine Dorries suggests Dominic Raab should resign to fight bullying allegations
Nadine Dorries has suggested that Dominic Raab, her former Cabinet colleague, should resign from his front bench role to fight an “avalanche” of bullying accusations.
Ms Dorries, who was culture secretary when she served with Mr Raab under Boris Johnson, said she had “very positive” experiences working with him but predicted that he would step back.
She said: “If I were Dominic Raab and I was under this avalanche of accusations being made against me, I think I would want to stand down, I would want to dedicate my time to clearing my name and refuting those allegations. And I think Dominic’s probably going to get to that position pretty soon.”
Mr Raab, the Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Secretary, is under mounting pressure over an investigation into his conduct towards staff. He has denied any wrongdoing, saying in the Commons in November: “I am confident that I have behaved professionally throughout.”
Separately, Ms Dorries interviewed Mr Johnson on TalkTV, with the former prime minister accusing Vladimir Putin of overseeing acts of terrorism.
Discussing a recent visit to Ukraine, Mr Johnson said: “I went out, like so many others have done, it was incredible to see it for myself. I saw blocks of flats that had been obliterated by 500 kilo bombs, of no conceivable military value to Putin.
“He does it purely as an act of terrorism. This is still going on, you know, across the front line. He’s continuing to wipe out towns. He’s absolutely merciless. He has no respect for the laws of war, or human life. So we have to give them the kit they need to fight him and to send Putin back whence he came.”
Mr Johnson said he still talks to Rishi Sunak, whose resignation triggered the ministerial walk-out that led to his ousting from Downing Street, but did not give details.
He countered Ms Dorries’ suggestion that Mr Sunak was a “submarine prime minister”, saying: “He’s been on TV a lot more than me lately, I can tell you that much for free.”
Mr Johnson also issued a warning about the Brexit policy Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour would pursue if it won office at the next general election, expected to be held in 2024.
He said: “I think that you’d have a very interesting situation. They would be gravitationally sucked back into the orbit of the EU. I think that’d be very wrong for the country. It would lose us a lot of opportunities that we currently have.”
Mr Johnson – who, according to allies, still hopes for a return to the premiership if the opportunity arises – said he believed that the Tories could still win the next election.
Opinion polls currently put Labour more than 20 percentage points ahead of Conservatives.
But the ex-prime minister said: “The fact is that the Conservative Party can certainly win the next election. Yes, absolutely.
“We’ve got almost two years to go before there has to be an election. You don’t have to have an election until January 2025. So that’s almost two years.
“I fought the ‘97 election, I was there and I remember what it was like. It was really, really tough. You would feel this movement of voters, actively who wanted Tony Blair, and that is just not happening now. I don’t feel it.
“Old Sir Crasharooney Snoozefest, the human bollard – Keir Starmer, that is – he thinks that he’s going to get people to vote Labour just by standing there and doing nothing. It’s not going to happen.
“The economy will start to improve, inflation will come down, people will reward the Conservative party, they will reward the Government for being sensible, for cutting their taxes and for getting things done that they need done.”
Mr Sunak has appointed Adam Tolley KC, an outside lawyer, to investigate complaints about Mr Raab. No date has been given for the completion of the investigation.
The Prime Minister has insisted that he was not aware of any “formal complaints” about Mr Raab before he gave him the Cabinet roles in October. However, Downing Street spokesmen have not denied that he was aware of “informal” complaints. It means much will depend on the definition of the word “formal”.
The Times reported on Thursday that Simon Case, Britain’s most senior civil servant, was aware of a written complaint about Mr Raab’s conduct before his appointments.