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Saturday, February 04, 2023

Under siege

Having lost his party chair in a row over unpaid tax, Ruishi Sunak is in real danger of losing his Deputy Prime Minister as well.

The Independent reports on the latest scandal to engulf Dominic Raab, with Remain campaigner Gina Miller claiming 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. The paper says that there are now fresh accusations of racial insensitivity towards a BBC comedian, who also backs Ms Miller’s version of events:

Asked to comment on Ms Miller’s shocking disclosure, first reported by The Independent, that he had called her “stupid” and “naive” during an “aggressive” encounter at the BBC, Mr Raab failed to deny explicitly that her account was accurate.

Instead, in a carefully worded statement, a spokesperson for the deputy prime minister said Mr Raab “rejects the description and characterisation” of him given by Ms Miller.

After Ms Miller also claimed that Mr Raab had “barked” at a BBC employee to “Go get me a f***ing car”, his spokesperson said the deputy prime minister “always treats people with the utmost respect and has never sworn at staff”.

But Mr Raab came under more pressure when, in a bizarre twist, comedian Nish Kumar joined the row, backing anti-Brexit campaigner Ms Miller.

Mr Kumar said he had witnessed an incident described by Ms Miller, in which Mr Raab confused her brother Gary Marlowe, a GP, with Mr Kumar.

“I have to say I felt no confidence that [Mr Raab] can differentiate between different Asians,” Mr Kumar told The Independent. “It left us both feeling a sense of disrespect and disregard for our identity.”

He added: “What annoyed me was that he had no contrition afterwards. He just went up to the first brown guy he saw, was immediately corrected, but did not even acknowledge that the infraction happened.”

Mr Marlowe said: “He came up to me and said ‘Hi, Nish’ – even though I don’t look anything like [Mr Kumar]. I thought ‘What an idiot.’ Just because we are both brown does not mean we’re interchangeable.

“I have a thick skin. I have been beaten up by National Front thugs, so this is small beer in comparison.”

Raab, is currently being investigated over multiple claims of bullying, and the likelihood that Rishi Sunak, who promised to put an end to Tory sleaze and misconduct, will have to fire him, is growing by the minute.

A number of former Tory Ministers have already called on Raab to step aside while the inquiry is ongoing. How much longer can Sunak keep him in post?
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