Oliver Dowden named U.K. deputy Prime Minister after Dominic Raab’s resignation

Dominic Raab’s resignation means a third senior minister has departed over their personal conduct since Rishi Sunak became the Prime Minister of Britain in October 2022

Updated - April 21, 2023 06:40 pm IST

Published - April 21, 2023 02:44 pm IST - LONDON

British government named Oliver Dowden as deputy Prime Minister on April 21, replacing Dominic Raab who resigned earlier in the day following a report into claims he bullied colleagues.

British government named Oliver Dowden as deputy Prime Minister on April 21, replacing Dominic Raab who resigned earlier in the day following a report into claims he bullied colleagues. | Photo Credit: Reuters

The British government named Oliver Dowden as deputy Prime Minister on April 21, replacing Dominic Raab who resigned earlier in the day following a report into claims he bullied colleagues.

British lawmaker Alex Chalk was named Justice Minister following Mr. Raab’s resignation, the government said.

Mr. Raab, who held the posts of deputy Prime Minister and Justice Minister, resigned following a report into claims he bullied colleagues.

Mr. Chalk, 46, previously served in the Ministry of Defence as Minister for Defence Procurement — a post he had held since Rishi Sunak became prime minister in October.

Mr. Chalk served as a lawyer for 14 years before becoming a lawmaker in 2015. He specialised in counter-terrorism, homicide and serious fraud cases before entering politics. 

In a letter to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak published on Twitter, Mr. Raab said the inquiry had set a dangerous precedent, but that he would remain supportive of the government.

“I called for the inquiry and undertook to resign, if it made any finding of bullying whatsoever. I believe it is important to keep my word,” Mr. Raab said.

However, he added: “In setting the threshold for bullying so low, this inquiry has set a dangerous precedent. It will encourage spurious complaints against Ministers, and have a chilling effect on those driving change on behalf of your government - and ultimately the British people.”

Mr. Raab’s resignation means a third senior minister has departed over their personal conduct since Mr. Sunak entered Downing Street in October promising a government of integrity.

Sunak accepts resignation

Mr. Sunak said on Friday he had accepted Mr. Raab’s resignation with “great sadness”.

“It is with great sadness that I have accepted your resgination,” Mr. Sunak told Mr. Raab in a letter.

“But it is clear that there have been shortcomings in the historic process that have negatively affected everyone involved. We should learn from this how to better handle such matters in future.”

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