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9 March 2023

Dominic Raab’s department spent £1,300 on meditation app for stressed staff

The Ministry of Justice’s Headspace for Work subscription could be one of its more justifiable purchases.

By The Chatterer

Labour’s recent attack on Whitehall’s use of government credit cards has turned up an interesting little purchase by the Ministry of Justice. Last January, £1,392 was spent on a programme entitled “Headspace for Work”, a provider of downloadable meditations to help staff cope with the pressures of office life.

The Headspace website says the aim is to help employees deal with stress, explaining that “even on the best days, stress can prevent us from being fully focused and doing our best work. And too much of it can lead to burnout, disengagement, more sick days, and strained relationships in the workplace.”

Shrewd New Statesman readers will note that this particular department is headed by none other than the alleged tomato-flinger-in-chief, Dominic Raab, who is facing at least eight formal complaints of bullying and bad behaviour from 24 civil servants over several years (which he denies).

The Guardian revealed that senior civil servants working at the Ministry of Justice were offered “respite or a route out” of the department when Raab was reappointed as secretary of state last November, with some reportedly having to take sick leave as a result of his “abrasive” behaviour.

If the allegations against the Deputy Prime Minister are true, the meditation app could turn out to be one of the more justifiable purchases that has been uncovered so far.

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[See also: Dominic Raab’s defenders are wrong – being “tough” doesn’t work]

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