Cabinet secretary Simon Case knew about bullying allegations against Dominic Raab before his reappointment as justice secretary, it has been claimed.
Prime minister Rishi Sunak is under renewed pressure over the appointment of Mr Raab as his deputy prime minister months after the first complaints were made.
According to The Times, cabinet secretary Simon Case was personally informed of a written complaint about bullying against Mr Raab months before he rejoined the Cabinet as a secretary of state.
Mr Case is the head of the civil service and works closely with the prime minister.
No 10 has said the PM was “not aware of any formal complaints” before giving Mr Raab the job, but has not denied he knew about informal allegations.
Dozens of officials are believed to be involved in an inquiry into Mr Raab, ordered by Mr Sunak. The justice secretary denies the allegations against him.
An official closely involved in the complaint told The Times: “A formal complaint was made in March. Nobody said that it wasn’t a formal complaint, or that it wasn’t submitted in the right way or using the right template. That just never happened. It was treated formally at the time. Obviously — it was really serious stuff.”
Mr Raab is also facing a fresh claim of bullying after an anti-Brexit campaigner alleged he launched an “abusive attack” on her, as revealed by The Independent.
Remain campaigner, Gina Miller, said 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.
Mr Raab said they are “baseless and malicious claims”.
Ms Miller writes: “He was aggressive and intimidating, and I was bullied and demeaned. This was an aggressive male expressing seemingly misogynistic behaviour. This sort of behaviour is not acceptable from anyone, especially not from a powerful, influential politician.”
Ms Miller, who says the incident took place as they shared a lift following a joint appearance on the BBC’s Today programme, writes in her article that Mr Sunak should “start showing courage, decisiveness and principles” and suspend Mr Raab awaiting the outcome of the investigation.
Dave Penman, head of the FDA union, told Sky News: “I’ve spoken to people who are civil servants working and have worked for Dominic Raab, who have suffered mental health crises, have lost their careers essentially because they’ve had to move and change jobs.”
He urged Mr Sunak to “come clean” on what he knew about concerns over Mr Raab, saying: “The reason why we need to know is because the prime minister has to decide on this investigation.”
The Independent approached the Cabinet Office for comment.
Dominic Raab’s office said it would not be commenting while the investigation is ongoing.