Jacob Rees-Mogg branded 'insulting' for dismissing bullying claims as 'snowflakey'

Jacob Rees-Mogg branded 'insulting' for dismissing bullying claims as 'snowflakey'
Jacob Rees-Mogg suggests Dominic Raab bullying accusers are ‘snowflakes’

Jacob Rees-Mogg has faced criticism after suggesting that bullying claims made against deputy prime minister Dominic Raab are “too snowflakey”.

The Tory MP and former Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy spoke to Sky News host Kay Burley on Tuesday (January 31).

He was asked questions about Raab’s alleged treatment of civil servants, which is subject to an independent investigation ordered by Rishi Sunak.

“I think we’ve got to be slightly careful about the bullying allegations,” he told Sky News. “We mustn’t be too snowflakey about it. People need to be able to say this job has not been done well enough and needs to be done better.”

Rees-Mogg said bullying was a “very difficult line to judge” and “not a straightforward issue in most cases”.

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He added: “Is it reasonable to demand from senior and well-paid professionals a level of good service? And then you have to judge whether that line has been overstepped. But I do worry we’re getting a bit snowflakey about this.”

Rees-Mogg appeared to dismiss the claims on Sky News Getty Images/Sky News

Rees-Mogg also said it is “completely sensible” for Raab to remain in place while under investigation by senior lawyer Adam Tolley KC.

Predictably Rees-Mogg's 'snowflake' comments haven't gone down too well.

Dave Penman, general secretary of the FDA union, which represents senior officials, accused him of “trivialising bullying”, saying: “Even by Rees-Mogg’s standards this is outrageous”.

The union leader added: “A former leader of the House, trivialising bullying that we know has ruined lives and careers. Not only should he be ashamed of himself, but his leader and party should distance themselves from this.”

It comes after Raab first came under Westminster's microscope back in November after reports emerged that the deputy prime minister left staff "scared" to enter the office.

Reports at the time also alleged that the justice secretary threw tomatoes across the office and one source reportedly told The Guardian that Raab created “a culture of fear” when running the department and was “very rude and aggressive” to workers, reducing some to tears.

Further reports have now emerged in the publication that claims Raab has been the subject of formal bullying complaints by at least 24 civil servants.

Raab said he is “always mindful” of his behaviour but makes “no apologies for having high standards” when asked whether he has changed how he deals with others.

The Justice Secretary previously told the BBC: “There’s a number of complaints that have been made.

“The minute that happened, the minute there were any formal complaints, and there was of course leaking and anonymous points made in the media, I immediately asked for an independent investigation.

“That’s outstanding. That’s ongoing. I can’t comment on that, it would be wrong for me to do so.

“But as I’ve said before, I’m confident I behaved professionally throughout, and of course the Government takes a zero-tolerance approach to bullying.”

He said it was for the lawyer “to make any further statements”.

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