Throughout his career Raab has been hit by a number of controversies and made a number of gaffes...
Tory MP and former Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab has announced that he intends to stand down as an MP at the next election.
Raab’s announcement comes a month after he resigned as a minister when a bullying inquiry found he had acted in an intimidating way towards officials.
The MP for Esher and Walton said that he was standing down because he is concerned about “the pressure the job has placed on my young family”.
However, his reasons for quitting as an MP have been questioned by the Lib Dems, who say that Raab has stepped down over fears of losing his seat. Raab won the Esher and Walton seat by just 2,743 votes at the 2019 election.
Throughout his career Raab has been hit by a number of controversies and made a number of gaffes. We thought we’d go through some of them.
1.‘Too busy’ on holiday during Taliban takeover of Kabul
While Foreign Secretary in 2021, Raab was condemned for staying on holiday, despite being told to return as Afghanistan fell to the Taliban.
He remained at a five-star resort in Crete despite a huge scramble by Brits and those who had supported Allied forces to escape.
Then foreign secretary Raab was accused of passing on tasks to a junior foreign minister, who it was claimed Afghan authorities initially refused to set up call with, meaning crucial time was lost which could have saved more Afghan interpreters.
2. Offensive comments on foodbanks
In 2017, Raab was accused of making ‘stupid and offensive’ comments about foodbanks. He claimed that people who use foodbanks aren’t “languishing in poverty” but have a “cashflow problem”.
At the time, the Liberal Democrat leader, Tim Farron, called Raab’s comments “stupid and deeply offensive”.
He said: “Dominic Raab is woefully out of touch and has no idea how much real people are struggling.
“We are seeing nurses, police officers and the just-about-managing having to go to food banks as their pay cheque won’t stretch any further. People are hurting and the Tories, with comments like this, show they just don’t care.”
3. The Angela Rayner wink
The infamous wink, which Rayner summed up as “a bit weird” and making the public feel “a bit eww”, followed with a flurry of accusations of misogyny against Raab.
Raab also made a jibe at Rayner about her attending the opera, for which his ‘snobbery’ was also condemned for attempting to ‘belittle and mock’ Rayner.
Labour MP Toby Perkins posted on Twitter: “I will never unsee Dominic Raab’s wink from the despatch box at Angela Rayner. I feel soiled.”
Whilst Raab later claimed the wink was actually not aimed at Rayner at all, but in fact at Scotland secretary Ian Murray..
4. When he said he hadn’t read the Good Friday Agreement – as Brexit secretary
The former Brexit Secretary admitted that he had not read the Good Friday Agreement all the way through despite playing a crucial role in shaping terms of the Northern Ireland backstop arrangement.
The 36-page document was apparently not a page-turner enough to warrant Raab’s full attention, despite him being responsible for giving evidence to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee.
When asked if he’d read the agreement, Raab said: “It’s not like a novel, you sit down and say, ‘do you know what, over the holidays.. this is a cracking read’.”
5. Defending Boris Johnson breaking the law
While it was pretty clear that Boris Johnson’s lockdown parties in Downing Street broke the law, Raab continued to defend Johnson.
Raab tried to claim that Johnson’s actions did not break the law because the former Prime Minister acted “in accordance with the rules at the time”. He was also mocked further for another bizarre claim attempting to divert attention from the No10 Christmas parties, when he said police, ‘don’t normally look back and investigate things that have taken place a year ago’.