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15th Sep 2021

Dominic Raab’s five worst moments as Foreign Secretary we won’t forget any time soon

Kieran Galpin

Raab has certainly made an impression, but definitely not a good one!

Dominic Raab has spent most of his political career making headlines, angering fellow politicians, and most recently missing the biggest international crisis in a decade due to him sunning himself on a beach while dodging calls.

And on Wednesday he was seemingly rewarded by being relieved of his role as Foreign Secretary. However, Raab was confirmed as Justice Secretary, Lord Chancellor, and Deputy Prime Minister, the latter a role he was kind of doing anyway. He has filled in as a de-facto PM during the pandemic.

So, in light of Raab’s demotion, here’s a look at his greatest gaffs.

The time he outed himself as a men’s rights advocate

Dominic Raab

In a 2011 interview for PoliticsHome, Raab suggested that men receive far more discrimination than women. He went on to say that perhaps men should “burn their briefs” in protest, alluding to the feminism movement from the ’70s where women burnt their bras.

“Feminists are now amongst the most obnoxious bigots,” he said.

“While we have some of the toughest anti-discrimination laws in the world, we are blind to some of the most flagrant discrimination – against men. From the cradle to the grave, men are getting a raw deal. Men work longer hours, die earlier, but retire later than women.”

Theresa May, who at the time was Home Secretary, later accused him of fuelling “gender warfare”.

Sunning it up during the Afghan crisis


August 15 marked the day the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan, by claiming Kabul. For many, the insurgents’ rampage across Afghanistan was a clear indication they’d be back in charge sooner rather than later. But not for Raab. The then, foreign secretary, said “no one saw it coming”.

Raab was holidaying in Crete at the time of Kabul’s collapse, with the minister suggesting he “nobbled'” Boris Johnson into allowing him to stay two more days. It later emerged he also dodged responsibility for calling Afghan officials to organise evacuations. Both

Calls for resignation from both fellow politicians and the general public swept the nation.

The sea was closed


Amidst the calls for his resignation, Raab thought it best to do another TV interview to explain himself. Predictably, he made it dramatically worse.

Addressing the rumours that he was paddleboarding at the time of Kabul’s collapse, Raab insisted that the claims were “nonsense” as “the sea was actually closed”.

But his embarrassment didn’t stop there, as soon after a hotel manager from the same area of Crete Raab was staying in said, “As far as we are aware there aren’t any beaches that have been closed. The beach in front of the hotel is open to the public all summer.”

The Brexit blunder


During his tenure as Brexit Secretary, Raab made numerous blunders that called into question just how competent he was. Arguably, the biggest scandal happened at a tech convention in 2018 where Raab admitted to not fully understanding the United Kingdom’s geography.

Raab also admitted to not fully reading the Good Friday Agreement, which is only thirty-two pages. “I haven’t sat down and started at the beginning and gone through it,” he told Lady Sylvia Hermon before waffling for some time.

His time in the big chair

Though not as scandalous as other entries, Raab stepped in while the PM was battling Covid in an ICU.  People online were quick to joke about his presenting skills, as he looked totally bewildered for most of the briefings. Though Johnson is hardly delivering Ted Talks at press conferences, Raab constantly looked like a deer in headlights.

So there you have it. It’s been real, Mr Raab. We’d say we’ll miss you as Foreign Sec, but, well…

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