DOMINIC Raab has denied bullying his officials after the Prime Minister launched an investigation into two complaints filed against him.

The deputy PM and Justice Secretary told the Commons that he was confident he “behaved professionally throughout”.

Mr Raab asked the PM to launch the probe himself after the complaints were made.

Standing in for Mr Sunak, who has been in Bali for the G20 summit, Mr Raab said he would comply “fully” and would refute the claims against him.

It was reported last week that staff in Mr Raab’s former private office were offered the chance to leave when he was reappointed as Justice Secretary by Mr Sunak.

Labour MP Clive Betts opened the session by reminding Mr Raab of Rishi Sunak’s promise to maintain high ethical standards in public life.

He said: “When he got the job in his first day, the prime minister promised and I quote, integrity, professionalism, and accountability.

“I assume the Deputy Prime Minister agrees with that promise, and would expect all ministers to follow such principles. 

“Therefore, does the deputy prime minister also agree that in line with his promise, the Prime Minister should ensure that no minister who has a complaint of bullying upheld against them should continue to serve in his government?”

Mr Raab said: “He's right to quote what the Prime Minister said. And I take it as an article of personal faith that we behave with absolute integrity and accountability.

“I am confident that I have behaved professionally throughout, but immediately I heard that two complaints have been made - I believe they were made yesterday I was notified this morning - I immediately asked the Prime Minister to set up an independent investigation, and of course I will comply with fully.”

Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner later questioned Mr Raab on the same issue.

She told the Commons: “After days of dodging and denial, this morning the Deputy Prime Minister finally acknowledged formal complaints about his misconduct, but his letter contains no hint of admission or apology.

“This is anti-bullying week. Will he apologise?”

Mr Raab replied: “She asks about the complaints I received notification this morning. I immediately asked the Prime Minister to set up an independent inquiry into them.

“I’m confident I behaved professionally throughout but of course I will engage thoroughly and look forward to transparently addressing any claims that have been made.”

Several Tory MPs came to Mr Raab's defence, including former Business Secretary Jacob-Rees-Mogg, who noted many Labour MPs had been found guilty of bullying.

Dorset MP Simon Hoare also said it was a "good British tradition" that a person was considered innocent until proven guilty.

Mr Raab said that was an important point, adding: "I've said I will cooperate fully with the independent investigation.

"In fact, I welcome the opportunity to address these complaints.

"I think that it is important that we have zero tolerance for any bullying and we hold the highest standards in public life, and it's important to all of us to adhere to those standards."

In his letter to the Prime Minister today, Mr Raab wrote: "I have just been notified that two separate complaints have formally been made against me, in parallel, from my time as foreign secretary and my first tenure as Justice Secretary, which ended in September of this year.

“I am, therefore, writing to request that you commission an independent investigation into the claims as soon as possible. I will co-operate fully and respect whatever outcome you decide.”

Mr Rab also said he had been “blessed to work with a wide range of outstanding civil servants, in particular my brilliant and dedicated private offices”.

“I have always welcomed the mutual challenge that comes with serious policy-making and public service delivery.

“I have always sought to set high standards and forge teams that can deliver for the British people amidst the acute challenges that we have faced in recent years.

“I have never tolerated bullying, and always sought to reinforce and empower the teams of civil servants working in my respective departments.”

Rishi Sunak has agreed with Dominic Raab’s request for an independent investigation into his conduct, after two complaints were made against him.

In his response, Mr Sunak said: “I thank you for your letter and the recommendation that the two formal complaints against you in previous roles are investigated independently.

“I know that you will be keen to address the complaints made against you and agree that proceeding in this way is the right course of action.

“Integrity, professionalism and accountability are core values of this Government. It is right that these matters are investigated fully.”