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Dominic Raab

Dominic Raab was appointed Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and First Secretary of State on 24 July 2019. He was first elected Conservative MP for Esher and Walton in May 2010. The sometimes outspoken Raab had a volatile time - going in and out of favor - since becoming Conservative MP for Esher and Walton, Surrey, in 2010.

As foreign secretary and first secretary of state, he was the de-facto second-in-command to Boris Johnson. That meant he could take over running the government for a while if the prime minister sees his health worsen. Johnson was admitted to hospital on 05 april 2020 for tests after experiencing persistent symptoms of coronavirus ten days after testing positive for the virus. Johnson's condition worsened since being hospitalised with persistent COVID-19 symptoms and he was moved into intensive care. Downing Street office said "The PM has asked Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is the First Secretary of State, to deputise for him where necessary."

Raab, as well as being first secretary of state, had been chosen as "designated survivor" - the person who takes over the running of the country if Mr Johnson is struck down, reaffirming his status. According to Katy Balls, the Spectator magazine's deputy political editor, some colleagues believed he lacked emotional intelligence, and feared he would struggle to rise to the occasion should he be forced to step into Johnson's shoes.

With 15% positive opinion, Dominic Raab is more popular among Baby Boomers than among other age groups. Raab is more popular among Men than among Women. Dominic Raab is the 25th most popular Conservative politician and the 25th most famous. Raab is described by fans as: Admirable, Assured, Confident, Conservative and Commanding.

First elected to Parliament in 2010, the following year Mr Raab angered the then home secretary, Theresa May, by describing some feminists as "obnoxious bigots" in an online article. "From the cradle to the grave, men are getting a raw deal," he claimed. "Men work longer hours, die earlier, but retire later than women." Mrs May accused him of fuelling "gender warfare".

Baarb became a junior justice minister following David Cameron's general election victory in 2015. He played a prominent role in the successful Leave campaign in the 2016 EU referendum, but was sacked by May when she took over as prime minister. Unlike Michael Gove, whose dramatic intervention in the summer 2016 leadership contest had been forgiven but not forgotten, Raab was implicitly trusted by Johnson and his team. Also unlike Gove, he resigned rather than accept Theresa Mays Brexit deal seen as the ultimate test of a true believer.

In 2017, Dominic was re-elected MP for Esher and Walton with a majority of over 23,000. In November 2017, Dominic was awarded the Outstanding Campaigning Politician Award at the international Sergei Magnitsky Human Rights Awards 2017. He was Minister of State at the Ministry of Justice from 12 June 2017 to 9 January 2018. Dominic served as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Human Rights) at the Ministry of Justice from 2015 to 2016. In 2017, Raab was branded "offensive" by then Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron after saying "the typical user of a food bank is not someone that's languishing in poverty; it's someone who has a cash flow problem".

In Mrs May's January 2018 reshuffle he was promoted to Minister of State for Housing at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government - one of the highest-profile non-cabinet roles in government - where he served from 9 January 2018 to 9 July 2018. And in July that year, when Mr Davis quit, the prime minister promoted Mr Raab to Brexit secretary, a cabinet post. Dominic was Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union from July to November 2018. Yet his improved relationship with Mrs May did not last long. In November 2018, he quit, criticising her position on Brexit. He argued that he could not "in good conscience" support the "backstop" arrangement designed to avoid a hard border between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland.

After May announced she was standing down in 2019, Raab entered the contest to become Conservative leader, and prime minister. Raabs no-holds-barred Brexit stance allowed Johnson to appear the moderate leaver. In a crowded field, he failed to get the 33 MPs' votes he needed to progress to the third round. Fellow Brexiteers Boris Johnson and Michael Gove outlasted him. On 24 July 2019 he became foreign secretary and first secretary of state - effectively deputy prime minister.

Raab was born in 1974, the son of a Czech-born Jewish refugee who fled the Nazis in 1938. Dominic went to Dr Challoners Grammar School, and studied law at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford and for a Masters at Cambridge, winning the Clive Parry Prize for International Law.

Dominic started his career as a business lawyer at City law firm Linklaters, working on project finance, international litigation and competition law. He also spent time on secondments at Liberty (the human rights NGO) and in Brussels advising on EU and WTO law. Dominic later worked at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office between 2000 and 2006 on a range of issues from investor protection to war crimes policy. In 2000, Dominic joined the Foreign & Commonwealth Office. He advised on a wide range of briefs, including UK investor protection, maritime issues, counter-proliferation and counter-terrorism, the UK overseas territories and the international law of outer space. In 2003, he was posted to The Hague to head up a new team, focused on bringing war criminals including Slobodan Milosevic, Radovan Karadzic and Charles Taylor to justice. On return to London, he advised on the Arab-Israeli conflict, EU law and Gibraltar.

Dominic left the FCO in 2006, and worked for three years as Chief of Staff to respective Shadow Home and Justice Secretaries, advising in the House of Commons on crime, policing, immigration, counter-terrorism, human rights and constitutional reform.

On 21 November 2009, Dominic was selected to represent the Conservatives in Esher and Walton. On 6 May 2010, he was elected MP with 59% of the vote, doubling the Conservative majority, on a turnout of 72%. In 2011, Dominic was voted Newcomer of the Year at The Spectators annual Parliamentarian of the Year Awards. Between 2010 and 2015, he served on the Joint Committee on Human Rights and Education Select Committee. Dominic was re-elected in 2015 with an increased majority of 28,616. He was appointed Minister for Human Rights in David Camerons government.

Dominic is married to Erika Ray, a Brazilian marketing executive. They live in Thames Ditton, Surrey, with their two sons, Peter and Joshua.

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Page last modified: 30-06-2021 12:06:19 ZULU