Britain’s deputy prime minister said an inquiry into a previous complaint against Chris Pincher had not recommended “formal disciplinary action”, as the former senior civil servant accused the government of dishonesty.
Pincher, who oversaw party discipline and welfare within the Conservative Party, resigned from his post last week following allegations of inappropriate behaviour.
However, the deputy prime minister admitted on Tuesday that there was a previous allegation of professional misconduct against Pincher.
“Someone who worked with him filed a complaint [in the Foreign Office] about inappropriate behaviour,” Dominic Raab told Sky News.
Raab said he agreed the complaint “should be looked at under the auspices of the civil services, to make sure it is done without fear or favour”.
The review “did not recommend formal disciplinary action,” he added. However, Raab said he had spoken to “Pincher about inappropriate behavior and made it clear in no uncertain terms [that] it should give up — it must never happen again”.
Raab said the matter had also been referred to the cabinet’s decency and ethics team for “further reassurance”. The team determined that the matter did not require further action under the ministerial code.
The news comes after Lord Simon McDonald, a former permanent secretary at the Foreign Office, wrote on Tuesday that Pincher had been subject to a formal investigation while he was a minister in the department in 2019 and that Prime Minister Boris Johnson had been told about it.
U a letter to the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner, McDonald said Number 10’s original claim that Johnson was unaware of “specific allegations” about Pincher’s behavior was “not true”.