Dominic Raab repeatedly “ruined” the lives of junior staff and “created an awful atmosphere to work”, according to officials who worked with the Deputy Prime Minister.
Sources from within the Civil Service told Sky News Mr Raab’s behaviour primarily concerned the treatment of junior staff, and that he would adapt his behaviour “depending on the person”.
One source, who worked with Mr Raab said: “If you weren’t important, he’s absolutely awful, and then he’d pivot to being reasonable and affable – say with the PM or another senior figure”.
Another source said the deputy prime minister “put the fear of God” into junior staff, and that officials were “nervous” about attending meetings with him because they feared “strips torn off them or an unpleasant encounter”.
“It was not a good place to be,” they added.
Senior civil servants reportedly put more senior staff into Mr Raab’s private office in a bid to add a buffer and “a bit of protection” for younger and less experienced employees.
Another source said Mr Raab’s behaviour was “the worst I have ever seen”.
“The way he would treat people, belittle people, interrogate people, ignore people. He created an awful atmosphere. It was coercive behaviour. He had people in tears after coming out of his office – but they wouldn’t want to complain, they saw it as professional pride – just to cope with it.”
Other staff members have described feeling apprehensive on their commute into work, because Mr Raab wanted them to be available on the phone at all times.
An official inquiry into allegations of bullying against Mr Raab was launched earlier this year, and more than a dozen people, including Mr Raab, have given evidence. He has strongly denied bullying, but has said he will resign if any of the allegations are upheld.
Adam Tolley KC was charged with investigating the allegations, but will be the Prime Minister’s decision whether or not Mr Raab will face sanctions.
Some Conservatives have already called for Mr Raab to resign as the investigation draws to a close, but others who worked with him have tweeted in his defence.
Helen Grant, MP for Maidstone and The Weald, worked with Mr Raab at the Foreign Office. She wrote: “I witnessed a very decent, hard working minister with high professional standards and a solid work ethic. Dominic has zero tolerance for bullying.”
Eddie Hughes, Mr Raab’s former principal private secretary said he was “demanding” and “very hard working and expects others to be too” but that he “never saw him be rude to anyone at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government or the Department for Exiting the European Union”.