The Daily Telegraph

Taliban claim yet another victim as Raab is demoted to Justice Secretary

- By Lucy Fisher Deputy political editor

‘He had face loud calls to resign after failing to seek assistance to evacuate Afghan translator­s’

DOMINIC RAAB was yesterday demoted from Foreign Secretary weeks after being censured for remaining on holiday as Kabul fell to the Taliban.

He was removed from the great office of state and will take up the post of Justice Secretary, a more junior position in the Cabinet, but was awarded the title of Deputy Prime Minister to sweeten the blow.

The 47-year-old held two crunch meetings with Boris Johnson before accepting his fate. Talks that started in the Prime Minister’s Commons office broke up and recommence­d in Downat ing Street yesterday afternoon. Mr Raab was accused of “throwing toys out of pram” when told about the switch but in his defence his allies said he felt aggrieved at being blamed for errors in the Foreign Office’s handling of the emergency airlift out of Afghanista­n last month. He attempted to put a brave face on the move as he left No 10, even winking at a reporter as he passed, but his smile was said to have fallen as he exited Downing Street.

His planned appearance at the 1922 Committee of backbench MPS yesterday evening was cancelled.

His demotion followed weeks of intense scrutiny and speculatio­n about his future after it emerged he had not spoken to his Afghan or Pakistani counterpar­ts in the months leading up to the Taliban’s power grab.

He had faced loud calls to resign over his failure to request assistance from the Afghan foreign minister to evacuate Afghan translator­s as the Islamist group surged towards Kabul last month.

While he has moved to the helm of a less prestigiou­s department, his appointmen­t as First Secretary of State has been upgraded to Deputy Prime Minister, a role last held by Nick Clegg in the coalition government.

As First Secretary, he had to deputise for Mr Johnson when the PM was in intensive care with coronaviru­s last spring.

In many ways, Mr Raab is a natural fit the Ministry of Justice, given his background as a government lawyer before becoming an MP, then his stint as a junior justice minister.

However, he inherits a challengin­g portfolio from Robert Buckland, who returned to the back benches after being sacked as Justice Secretary yesterday.

Addressing the court backlogs that have built up during the pandemic, as well as dealing with pressing problems

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