Ominik Raab has reportedly been the subject of formal bullying complaints by at least 24 civil servants.
Eight formal charges have been laid against the Deputy Prime Minister and are being investigated by senior solicitor Adam Tolley Casey.
But The Guardian says all but two of those complaints involve multiple accusers, with several of Mr Raab’s private office staff during his time as foreign secretary believed to have made submissions.
I ain’t sorry for the high standards, for trying to push things
The newspaper said the total number of complainants is believed to be at least two dozen, though the number could be as high as 30.
Mr Raab said he is “always conscious” of his behaviour, but when asked if it has changed the way he treats others, is “not sorry” for having higher standards.
The Justice Secretary had earlier told the BBC: “A number of complaints have been made.
“The minute it happened, the minute there was a formal complaint, and of course leaks and undisclosed points in the media, I immediately called for an independent investigation.
“It’s outstanding. He’s ongoing. I can’t comment on that, it would be wrong of me to do so.
“But as I have said before, I am confident that I have behaved professionally, and of course the Government takes a zero-tolerance approach to bullying.”
He said it was for the lawyer “to make any further statement”.
“But there will be a report, it will go to the prime minister, it will be published, so there is no question of dodging transparency around it.”
Rishi Sunak has opposed calls for Mr Raab to be suspended during the investigation.
Deputy Labor leader Angela Rayner said reports from dozens of complainants raised “yet more questions” about Sunak’s decision.
“These shocking claims of large-scale bullying and intimidation raise further questions about the prime minister’s judgement,” he added.
“He promised a government of integrity and claimed zero tolerance for bullying, yet he not only appointed Dominic Raab as his deputy prime minister and justice secretary, but continued to push him.
“The cabinet he appointed is riddled with laziness and scandal, but the prime minister is too weak to do anything about it. There should be no whitewashing, and the prime minister himself must come clean on that.” Little did he know when he rehired Dominic Raab.
Asked if he had changed his behavior since the complaints were made, Mr Raab said: “I don’t think I’ve done anything wrong.
“So look, of course I’m always mindful of how I behave.
“But, really, I think what people want to know is that the ministers in their government are doing everything they can to make things work for them and I’m not sorry for the high standards, for taking things forward.” To try…
“I think people expect ministers who come in to really push things forward and move things forward.
“But it certainly can be done in a professional way, and I believe that’s what I did.”
A Cabinet Office spokesman said: “The investigation by Adam Tolley Casey is ongoing, so until this process takes place it would be inappropriate to comment further.”
An MoJ spokesperson said: “There is zero tolerance for bullying in the civil service. The Deputy Prime Minister leads a professional department, driving major reforms, where civil servants are valued and ambition levels high .
“An independent investigation is underway and until it is completed it would be inappropriate to comment further on issues related to it.”
(tags to translate) government