Dominic Raab pulls out of planned appearance before the joint committee on human rights


We now have a zombie government that carries with it the real risk of paralysing the country at the worst possible time.

The number of absent ministers is growing, even as Britain finds itself amid a cost of living crisis. Dominic Raab is the latest Tory politician to pull out of a meeting to avoid scrutiny and accountability, just days after Home Secretaty Priti Patel pulled out of an appearance at the last minute before the Home Affairs Committee.

Raab says he cannot attend a meeting of the cross-party joint committee on human rights next Wednesday, as planned, where he would’ve been quizzed on issues such as his proposal for a British Bill of Rights.

The Joint Committee on Human Rights urged Raab to reconsider his decision saying it was “crucial” that they were able to scrutinise the Bill of Rights Bill which would replace the Human Rights Act and reduce the role of the European court of human rights.

“We were extremely disappointed to hear yesterday that you will not be giving evidence to our committee next week, as previously arranged,” SNP MP Joanna Cherry, the acting chair of the committee, wrote to Mr Raab.

“Whilst we understand that there are pressures that come with holding the dual roles of Lord Chancellor and Deputy Prime Minister, accountability to Parliament should take priority. This date has been in our diaries and yours for some time.

“It is not clear why, at such short notice, other matters should take priority.

“We therefore ask you to reconsider your decision not to attend on 20 July. We expect that if you do not attend then, you will commit to appearing before us during the week of 12 September instead.”

Raab’s refusal to subject himself to scrutiny comes just days after Priti Patel refused to appear before a planned session of the Home Affairs Committee where she was due to be questioned on issues such as the Rwanda migrant deal as well as on violence against women and girls and passport delays.

She cited “recent changes in government” including to her ministerial team” as the reasons for her refusal to attend.

We now have a zombie government that carries with it the real risk of paralysing the country at the worst possible time.

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

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