A COMPLAINT against Dominic Raab alleges that he oversaw a “perverse culture of fear” at the Ministry of Justice, according to reports.

The Prime Minister agreed to Raab’s request to open an independent investigation after two formal complaints have been made against the Justice Secretary.

The content of a complaint was made public by The Times and reportedly shows that the grievance was submitted by a group of mid-ranking officials in March before being re-submitted this week as a formal complaint.

The letter of complaint, according to The Times, references a “perverse culture of fear” and describes his communication style as “often abrupt, rude and can be upsetting”.

“There have been multiple recent examples of colleagues being left in tears after being on the receiving end of this inappropriate behaviour,” the letter stated.

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“We are extremely worried about the perverse culture of fear that is clearly permeating this department.

“We are proud of the work we do here, but the tangible shift towards a dysfunctional working culture is starting to hinder that.”

“The combination of the pressure of work and unreasonable deadlines has had such an impact on some colleagues’ mental and physical health that they have visited their GPs, and some have subsequently been signed off work for extended periods of time.

“Colleagues have confided in [each other] that they have been reluctant to be signed off due to the impact that this would have on their other team members.”

Raab told the Commons on Wednesday that he was “confident” he has behaved “professionally”, with Downing Street saying that the Prime Minister still has full confidence in his deputy.

The Justice Secretary has also been facing a series of allegations that he bullied officials and deployed rude and demeaning behaviour in previous Cabinet roles.

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In a letter to Raab on Wednesday, Rishi Sunak said that “integrity, professionalism and accountability are core values of this Government” and said that an investigation was the “right course of action”.

In his letter to the Prime Minister, Raab said: “I have just been notified that two separate complaints have formally been made against me, in parallel, from my time as foreign secretary and my first tenure as justice secretary, which ended in September of this year.

“I am, therefore, writing to request that you commission an independent investigation into the claims as soon as possible. I will co-operate fully and respect whatever outcome you decide.”

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The Conservative MP for Esher and Walton told Sunak he had “never tolerated bullying, and always sought to reinforce and empower the teams of civil servants working in my respective departments”.

Downing Street said that work has begun to appoint the investigator, who will be someone from outside the Government, but would not say when the person would be in post or when the inquiry would be completed.