Politics news - latest: Fresh questions over timeline of bullying allegations made against Dominic Raab (2023)

Key points
  • Top civil servant dragged back into Dominic Raab bullying row
  • Rob Powell: Number 10's response to controversy bears striking similarities to handling of Nadhim Zahawi affair
  • What you need to know about the Raab controversy|Who is cabinet secretary Simon Case?
  • Beth Rigby: Little warm glow around Sunak's leadership as he marks 100 days in office
  • The U-turns and scandals of his premiership so far
  • Live reporting by Tim Baker


Sunak's first 100 days: What polling tells us about how the public views PM's performance

by Alan McGuinness, digital politics assistant editor

While they are liable to change and provide a snapshot of sentiment at one particular time, opinion polls are a useful tool when judging the performance of a prime minister.

This is especially the case when you look at the trends over time.

So what do the polls from Rishi Sunak's first 100 days tell us about how he is perceived to have fared?

In short, while there have been steps in the right direction, the PM is facing a big challenge to ensure he is still in office after the next general election due in 2025.

When it comes to the overall performance of the Conservatives, the party has recovered its standing in the polls somewhat, having seen its numbers fall heavily in the wake of Liz Truss' mini-budget that saw her premiership cut short after just 45 days.

But Labour still retains a healthy poll lead and it seems the party is on course to win the next election.

The government's net approval rating has also increased, but two of Mr Sunak's more recent predecessors were performing better on this score after their first 100 days:

And what of the PM's own approval rating?

He may have outlasted his most recent predecessor, but Mr Sunak knows he is going to have to engineer some turnaround to ensure he lasts as long as the likes of Boris Johnson and Theresa May.


Sunak's survived in Number 10 twice as long as his predecessor - but it's not been a smooth ride

Rishi Sunak may have already outlasted Liz Truss by quite a margin, but the 100 days he's been in office have not been short of scandals.

(Video) Are the Latest Bullying Claims the END for Dominic Raab?

Our political correspondent Amanda Akasslooks back at the rockier moments of PM's tenure so far:


From Zahawi and Raab to seatbelt gaffe - the U-turns and scandals of Sunak's first months as PM

Rishi Sunak's first three months as prime minister have been far from plain sailing.

Significant storm clouds are hanging over the government as the prime minister looks to overturnLabour's commanding lead in the polls.

DespiteMr Sunaktrying to distance himself from the turbulent premiership ofBoris Johnson, rows over propriety and standards have continued.

Here, Sky News looks at the scandals and U-turns during his time as PM - includinghis sacking of Tory chairman Nadhim Zahawi:


Number 10's response to Raab bullying allegations bears striking similarities to its handling of the Zahawi affair

How much was known about accusations of bullying by Dominic Raab before he was reappointed to the cabinet in October?

The formal investigation into the deputy prime minister hasn't even finished, but questions are already landing at Rishi Sunak's door about whether flags were raised before he brought his political ally back to the top of government.

Today, the Times newspaper reports that the most senior civil servant in Westminster, Simon Case, was informed of a written complaint made against Mr Raab months before his appointment.

That comes after Sky News reported that Rishi Sunak was warned informally about his conduct last summer.

Dominic Raab has always denied any inappropriate behaviour and says he's confident of being cleared.

The response from Number 10 bears striking similarities to the handling of the Nadhim Zahawi affair.

"Due process" are once again the watch words, with the phrasing used by the prime minister's team carefully choreographed to pointedly emphasise that no "formal" complaints had been raised in the appointments process.

(Video) PMQs in full: Prime Minister Rishi Sunak faces questions from MPs

The political risk is that as the Raab investigation trudges on, more stories of this kind dribble out and the topic of sleaze is kept in the minds of the public.

One way to solve this would be for the deputy prime minister to step back from frontline duties while the inquiry is ongoing, as opposition parties have suggested.

This seems unlikely given the forthright defence offered by Mr Raab though, as it may suggest something of an admission of guilt.

It's another headache for a prime minister who came into power promising a new emphasis on integrity and accountability.


Beth Rigby: Little warm glow around Sunak's leadership as he marks 100 days in office

The first 100 days of Rishi Sunak's premiership are done - a yardstick that his predecessor Liz Truss never even reached, while Boris Johnson found himself utterly consumed with firefighting a pandemic.

Mr Sunak can take some comfort in the fact he's made it this far without a full-blown leadership crisis or an external global event that has blown his plan for government wildly off course.

But it would be hard too for the prime minister, in good faith, to say his first 100 days have been a success.

Read more from our political editor here:


'Windfalls of war': Labour frontbencher criticises 'grotesque' profits of Shell

Stephen Kinnock has called for an extension of the windfall tax on energy giants after Shell reported a record £32bn in profits for last year.

Speaking to Sky News this morning, the shadow immigration minister says the "grotesque profits" of oil and gas companies stand in contrast to striking workers who "just want a fair share".

Mr Kinnock was unable to say what pay deal Labour would offer unions to head off the strikes.

He was challenged on how much the opposition wants to tax energy companies, with a 75% levy currently in place on profits.

(Video) Labour frontbencher criticises 'grotesque' Shell profits

Mr Kinnock called for the end of "certain loopholes" which allow companies to offset tax costs if they invest in North Sea oil and gas production.

He also said the windfall tax should be backdated further to when Labour first started calling for it early last year.

Mr Kinnock said: "Don't forget these are excess profits.

"These are the windfalls of war as a direct result of Putin's barbaric invasion of Ukraine.

"The oil and gas companies are laughing all the way to the bank and that cannot be allowed to continue.

"So we're not talking about taxing the basic bottom line of these companies - we're taxing the excess profits that have been made as a direct result of the war.

"And they should be one-off taxes, which should only be in place until such time as the war is finished, which we really hope will be as soon as possible."


What you need to know about the Dominic Raab bullying allegations

The news agenda in Westminster looks set to be dominated again today by the bullying allegations against Dominic Raab.

As we've been reporting this morning, Cabinet Secretary Simon Case has been dragged back into the row, amid continuing questions about who knew what and when.

This is what you need to know about the controversy:


Foreign secretary pays tribute to Labour predecessor who has passed away

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly has paid tribute to Alan Hurst, the former Labour MP.

Mr Hurst represented the Braintree seat that Mr Cleverly is now the MP for from 1997 until 2005 under Tony Blair.

(Video) Rishi Sunak faces Keir Starmer in PMQS as Dominic Raab accused of bullying

The Labour MP was defeated by the Tory's Brooks Newmark in the 2005 election, and Mr Cleverly took over in 2015.

Mr Hurst, who was born in 1945, was never a minister.

Mr Cleverly said Mr Hurst passed away this week.


More travel misery as train drivers strike again

Rail workers at the RMT and Aslef unions are on strike again today.

It comes following a similar day of action on Wednesday, amid ongoing industrial action during the cost of living crisis.

The following lines have no services today:

  • Avanti West Coast
  • Chiltern Railways
  • Cross Country
  • East Midlands Railway
  • Gatwick Express
  • Great Northern
  • Heathrow Express
  • London Northwestern Railway
  • Northern
  • Southeastern
  • Southern
  • Thameslink
  • TransPennine Express
  • West Midlands Railway

Additionally, a reduced service will be run on the following:

  • Greater Anglia
  • Stansted Express
  • Great Western Railway
  • LNER

Follow the latest on today's strikes in our live blog below:


Who is cabinet secretary Simon Case?

The youngest cabinet secretary in more than a century, Simon Case was appointed to his role by Boris Johnson.

There are now questions about what Mr Case knew about Dominic Raab and the bullying allegations against him.

He has also been in the headlines over the Richard Sharp matter, where the BBC chair was appointed to the role after helping Mr Johnson secure an £800,000 loan while he was PM.

As a civil servant, Mr Case tends to be unable to publically comment and defend himself.

(Video) Union accuses several government ministers of bullying

Here, political correspondent Amanda Akass explains all you need to know about Mr Case.


1. The Last Leg Series 27 Episode 1
2. Keir Starmer accuses Rishi Sunak of being ‘too weak’ to act following Raab suspension calls
(Guardian News)
3. UK Deputy PM Dominic Raab condemned for 'bizarre' wink at Angela Rayner | WION
4. Deputy PM Dominic Raab defends behaviour after 'bullying' accusations
(The Sun)
5. Five new complaints added to Dominic Raab bullying investigation
(The Independent)
6. Live: Sunak faces Prime Minister's Questions amid mass strikes and Raab row
(STV News)
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