Call me Deputy Prime Minister: Demoted Dominic Raab ‘insists’ on title being used in official correspondence
- Raab was offered title of Deputy PM when he was demoted in autumn reshuffle
- Extra designation was mocked by many of the Justice Secretary’s colleagues
- But at least one person in Westminster seems determined to take title seriously
When Justice Secretary Dominic Raab was demoted from the Foreign Office in Boris Johnson’s autumn reshuffle, he was offered the title of Deputy Prime Minister as a sop to his bruised feelings.
The extra designation was mocked by many of Mr Raab’s colleagues – particularly when he has failed to deputise for the Prime Minister at key Commons events, such as last week’s emergency debate on sleaze.
But at least one person in Westminster seems determined to take the title seriously – Mr Raab himself.
The new Lord Chancellor Dominic Raab arrives at the Judge’s entrance to the Royal Courts of Justice on September 23 this year
A Whitehall source claims that Mr Raab – who is also Lord Chancellor – insists on his Deputy Prime Minister title being used in official correspondence, and that during recent negotiations with the Treasury over the spending review he objected to meetings with any Minister below Cabinet rank.
The source said: ‘Official letters have gone in to Raab’s private office addressing him as Lord Chancellor, but when they are answered they are signed Deputy Prime Minister. He has also been throwing his weight around. He objects to meetings if the Minister is too junior and seems to think that he can just demand to talk to Boris at will about everything.’
The autumn reshuffle has also caused tensions with Mr Raab’s successor at the Foreign Office, Liz Truss, over the use of the grace-and-favour Chevening House, which is usually placed at the disposal of the Foreign Secretary.
Mr Raab was told he could share access to the 17th Century Kent mansion with Ms Truss. But while she has been photographed meeting foreign dignitaries at the 115-room property, it is unclear if Mr Raab has yet been able to use it.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss meets with the three Baltic Foreign Ministers at Chevening House in Kent
Last night a source close to him said that they would ‘not give a running commentary’ on his use of Chevening.
The source added: ‘Dom’s private office speak to him on first-name terms and he has never asked them to insist on any title with anyone else.
‘He met the relevant Treasury Minister to agree the Ministry of Justice’s spending review settlement, and has regular meetings with ministerial colleagues.’
Mr Raab has said his main policy priority is to tackle the backlog in the court system that has built up during the pandemic.
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