Dominic Raab is facing fresh allegations of bullying amid claims that he launched an “abusive attack” on a prominent anti-Brexit activist.
Remain campaigner Gina Miller said she was “bullied and demeaned” by the deputy prime minister after he called her “stupid” and “naive” during an “aggressive” encounter at the BBC in 2016.
Her claims, written in an article for The Independent, are the first on-the-record accusations of abuse against Mr Raab, who faces an official inquiry into claims that he bullied civil servants. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has appointed Adam Tolley KC to look at claims of bullying against Mr Raab, involving up to 24 civil servants.
Mr Raab said they are “baseless and malicious claims”.
Ms Miller writes: “He was aggressive and intimidating, and I was bullied and demeaned. This was an aggressive male expressing seemingly misogynistic behaviour. This sort of behaviour is not acceptable from anyone, especially not from a powerful, influential politician.”
The prime minister is under increasing pressure to explain if he knew of allegations against Mr Raab before he appointed him to the cabinet. No 10 has only ruled out that Mr Sunak was aware of “formal complaints”.
Ms Miller, who says the incident took place as they shared a lift following a joint appearance on the BBC’s Today programme, writes in her article that Mr Sunak should “start showing courage, decisiveness and principles” and suspend Mr Raab awaiting the outcome of the investigation.
She also claims that:
- Her brother was forced to challenge the deputy prime minister after he appeared to confuse him with the comedian Nish Kumar. Her brother had to ask him: “Do you think I’m Nish Kumar? We’re not all the same, you know?”
- Mr Raab “barked” at a young BBC employee “go get me a f***ing car”.
In the article, Ms Miller writes she had “worked in financial services since 1996, so had encountered my fair share of bullies and misogynists”.
She says that as they shared a lift after a joint appearance on the BBC’s Today programme. “Raab stared at me and said: “I can’t make up my mind if you’re naïve, got too much money or just stupid. Just because you have deep pockets and friends in high legal places you think you can just go to court to stop the will of the people.”
Moments later, she says, he “barked” at a young BBC employee: “Where’s my car?” When the young man replied that they had not been asked to arrange one for him, a “furious” Mr Raab shouted: “Go get me a f***ing car.” “The young man was shaking, I was even more shocked,” she writes.
Ms Miller and Mr Raab met again when they both appeared on a BBC Question Time panel in 2018 with Mr Kumar.
Ms Miller writes that Mr Raab arrived “and made a beeline to my brother – a serious looking, bespectacled, very short haired doctor – and said, “I am Dominic Raab, look forward to being on the panel with you tonight” with that grin he does. I looked up from the papers I was reviewing in preparation. My brother was taken aback and said, “do you think I’m Nish Kumar? We’re not all the same, you know?”
Mr Sunak should act and suspend Mr Raab “while the probe takes place”, she writes. Ms Miller, now the leader of the True and Fair Party, famously challenged the UK government in 2016 over its authority to trigger Article 50 and formally initiate Brexit without a vote in parliament.
A source close to Mr Raab: “These are baseless and malicious claims, timed to jump on a political bandwagon and give Gina Miller the publicity she craves.”
The BBC has been approached for comment.