Dominic Raab may just have delivered the 'car crash interview of the year' over Chris Pincher scandal 1 month ago

Dominic Raab may just have delivered the 'car crash interview of the year' over Chris Pincher scandal

"Was he guilty of inappropriate behaviour or not?"

Dominic Raab has insisted Chris Pincher was not "guilty" of sexual misconduct in 2019, despite an internal investigation upholding a complaint of misconduct against him.

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In a car-crash interview on ITV's Good Morning Britain, the deputy prime minister quibbled with presenter Susanna Reid over use of the word "guilty" to describe Pincher's alleged inappropriate behaviour.

"It was clear [Pincher's] behaviour was inappropriate" Raab said. "But it did not trip the wire of severity to warrant formal disciplinary process".

Reid replied: "What you did in response is one thing. The fact of the matter is a complaint about inappropriate behaviour was made and investigation was undertaken, and the complaint was upheld."

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Raab answered: "I agree with that...it was your use of the word "guilty". He said while the claim was found to be substantiated, "guilty" is a loaded term.

The two agreed to let viewers watching at home decide what they thought.

TV personality Carol Vorderman said she was "embarrassed" watching Raab's interview, and advised the Deputy prime minister to "drop defending Johnson" or "his own career is done".

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Lawyer and political commentator Peter Stefanovic described it as the "car crash interview of the year" that showed Raab "shamelessly defends the indefensible".

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Meanwhile, Piers Morgan said the government was "making this country an absolute laughing stock."

Earlier on Tuesday morning, a senior civil servant claimed Boris Johnson was told "in person" about Chris Pincher's alleged wrongdoing in 2019.

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In an extraordinary intervention, the former permanent secretary in the Foreign Office for nearly five years published claims in a letter that Downing Street may have lied.

Lord McDonald said: "The original No 10 line is not true and the modification is still not accurate. Mr Johnson was
briefed in person about the initiation and outcome of the investigation.

"There was a 'formal complaint'. Allegations were 'resolved' only in the sense that the investigation was completed; Mr
Pincher was not exonerated. To characterise the allegations as 'unsubstantiated' is therefore wrong."

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