JUST when the Tories thought that they'd got over one bullying scandal involving a senior government minister, along comes another.

Former Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab's forehead vein is still throbbing from his bad tempered resignation after an independent investigation into allegations of bullying levelled against him upheld two of the many complaints. And now reports are coming out that informal complaints are being made about the way that Health Secretary Steve Barclay has treated civil servants in his department.

Claims have been made that Barclay (below) has a "very macho" style of working, that he's a micro-manager who is "generally a bit unpleasant" and "constantly angry", and that "everyone finds him quite challenging”. If Barclay has always been angry and unpleasant to work for then the atmosphere in his department right now must be positively poisonous. After all, the NHS in England is in meltdown and Barclay carries the can.

The National: Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay (Jordan Pettitt/PA)

The Health Secretary's allies have denied the allegations about his treatment of junior staff and stressed that no official complaint had been made about him.

After Raab was forced to resign last week he published a furious letter which only confirmed allegations that this was a man with a very bad temper. Raab refused to apologise and refused to accept he had bullied staff despite complaints against him being upheld. Instead, the Tory MP lashed out against “activist” civil servants, claiming that the report established a "dangerous precedent" by setting a low threshold for bullying.

The right-wing news channels have since been full of talking heads denouncing “snowflake” civil servants. All of this creates a dangerous and toxic atmosphere in which junior staff may be deterred from putting in complaints about abusive behaviour on the part of ministers.

Nasty is UK Government policy

However, Tory toxicity and nastiness is very much government policy. Yesterday in the Commons the Government succeeded in passing its cruel and inhumane Illegal Migration Bill which now goes forward to the House of Lords – despite coming in for criticism from senior Conservatives including Theresa May. It is a damning indictment indeed that even the woman who was responsible for introducing the “hostile environment” thinks that the bill is inhumane and risks consigning more people to modern slavery by giving traffickers greater leverage over victims of trafficking.

The bill is nasty beyond belief, a creature of the deeply unpleasant Suella Braverman (below). The bill provides for the removal to a third country of those deemed to have arrived in the UK by irregular means.

READ MORE: 'Not right': Suella Braverman panned by own Tory ally for migrants comments

Most controversially, and sickening in its petty cruelty, the bill removes the temporary protection against removal from the UK currently given to suspected victims of modern slavery or human trafficking while their case is considered. The UK Government loudly proclaims that this bill is directed against people trafficking gangs, instead it empowers them and heaps yet more misery upon its victims.

The bill also contains provisions which would allow government ministers to override the European Court of Human Rights rule 39 interim measures, which were successfully used last year to block the first attempt to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda and prohibit them from ever returning to the UK.

The National: Home Secretary Suella Braverman delivers a speech on policing at the Public Safety Foundation think tank in central London (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Despite UK Government assertions to the contrary, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees has said that the overwhelming majority of refugees have no access to safe and legal routes to the UK. This is an entirely manufactured problem created by the right in order to distract from the Conservatives' many failings.

The UK takes in far fewer refugees and asylum seekers than other comparable European countries. Sweden, with a population one sixth of that of the UK, takes in 240,854 refugees and asylum seekers compared to 231,597 in the UK. Germany hosts 1.24 million refugees and an additional 233,000 asylum seekers. France shelters 499,000 refugees. None of these countries feel the need to trash international human rights law like the Conservative government of the UK does.

All but one of Scotland's Conservative MPs voted in favour of this shameful legislation which panders to the basest instincts of the rabidly right-wing media. The exception was Douglas Ross who abstained. He was not present because he was far too busy trying to think up cheap jibes about campervans to use in today's First Minister's Questions.

The SNP’s National Campaign Day

The National: Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yousaf met the Prime Minister (Jane Barlow/PA)

First Minister Humza Yousaf has announced a National Campaign Day for SNP members to take place on Saturday. Calling on party members to join him, he said in a video message: "This Saturday, April 29, I would like to invite members from every constituency across Scotland to join me on the doorsteps.

“So whether you're in the Rutherglen and Hamilton West constituency [where a by-election could be held if sitting MP Margaret Ferrier is recalled] or any other constituency across the country, let's get out there, chap the doors, let's make the case for a fairer, greener, wealthier, and of course, independent nation."

He is seeking to capitalise on the 2700 new members who have joined the party since March and to prove to the other parties that, despite its recent troubles, the SNP remains a force to be reckoned with. It is still the only political party in Scotland which can truly claim to have a mass membership.

At FMQs today Douglas Ross still refused to state what his party's Scottish membership might be – spoiler alert, not that many – gesturing to the Scottish Tory MSPs behind him when pressed on what his party's membership was. This led the First Minister to point out that there is a word for those who do not practice what they preach, and that word is hypocrites.

This piece is an extract from today’s REAL Scottish Politics newsletter, which is emailed out at 7pm every weekday with a round-up of the day's top stories and exclusive analysis from the Wee Ginger Dug.

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