British Foreign Secretary Dominic Rennie Raab, 46, who was deputized as Prime Minister of the UK on Monday following Boris Johnson’s admission to intensive care due to persistent and worsening symptoms of COVID-19, spent the summer of 1998 at Birzeit University near Ramallah, the Palestinian Authority’s capital, where he worked for one of the principal PLO negotiators of the Oslo peace accords, assessing World Bank projects in the PA.
In 2011, Raab published an op-ed in The Times titled “Peace must precede Palestinian statehood,” and suggested that “Israeli settlement building undermined prospects for a contiguous Palestinian state.”
The Financial Times reported on Tuesday that although Raab has been eager to lead the Conservative party, he looked visibly shocked on Monday evening after being asked to step in for the ailing prime minister.
Raab’s father, Peter Raab, a food manager for Marks & Spencer, was Jewish, and came to Britain from Czechoslovakia in 1938 at age six. Dominic was brought up in his English mother’s faith, in the Church of England.
Dominic Raab has a black belt third Dan in karate.
In 2010, Raab was elected MP for Esher and Walton, in the north of Surrey in the affluent London commuter belt, which he won only narrowly.
In 2015, Raab became Justice Minister in David Cameron’s government after the Conservatives’ victory. Raab was an active campaigner in the 2016 Brexit referendum, advocating that Britain should leave the European Union. But Cameron’s replacement, PM Theresa May, dropped Raab from her cabinet. Then, after the 2017 election, May picked him as a justice minister and then gave him the housing portfolio. Next Raab was named Brexit secretary, but resigned in November 2018 saying he could not support the PM’s EU withdrawal agreement.
On 25 May 2019, Raab ran in the Conservative Party leadership election after Theresa May had resigned. He finished in 6th place and endorsed the frontrunner Boris Johnson, who subsequently won. On July 24 2019, PM Boris Johnson appointed Raab Foreign Secretary, and handed him the additional title First Secretary of State.