Following Dominic Raab’s resignation over two upheld complaints of bullying, a former Foreign Office chief is urging Chancellor Rishi Sunak to stand up for the civil service. Sir Simon McDonald, who was Mr Raab’s permanent secretary during his time at the Foreign Office, has called for the prime minister to defend the service from Raab’s allegations of activism and passive aggression. McDonald says that if the prime minister fails to support the civil service, it could end up being unfairly vilified. McDonald also stated that the service is unable to speak out due to its roles, thus allowing for a debate without any serving civil service participation.
McDonald Calls for Raab to Apologize for His Behavior
In addition to urging Sunak to defend the civil service, McDonald also called for Raab to apologize for his behavior. McDonald felt that Raab’s behavior was unwarranted when action was not happening as quickly as he would have liked. McDonald believes that a conversation between ministers and senior officials or permanent secretaries is completely legitimate without the need to intimidate or humiliate staff in order to shift the system. McDonald had previously spoken to Raab about his conduct after junior civil servants raised concerns, but he did not believe it crossed the threshold of bullying at that time.
Sir Simon McDonald Claims Raab Has a Fundamental Misunderstanding of Management Styles
Sir Simon McDonald was dismayed by the lack of a fulsome apology from Raab, stating that he hopes Raab will reflect on his behavior as he may still want a political career. McDonald believes that Raab has a fundamental misunderstanding of acceptable management styles and that a certain management style is not only acceptable but professional. McDonald believes that Raab needs to understand how his behavior affects those around him, stating that he resisted attempts to address the issue.
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