Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab is the son of a Jewish refugee who fled the Nazis

He replaces David Davis, who resigned late on Sunday


The new Brexit Secretary, Dominic Raab, is the son of a Czech-Jewish refugee who fled the Nazis.

He was handed the senior Cabinet role on Monday after his predecessor David Davis resigned late on Sunday night, saying he could no longer support Prime Minister Theresa May’s approach to Brexit.

It is a big promotion for Mr Raab, who had been housing minister since January and has been an MP for eight years.

Though he was raised in the Church of England, Mr Raab has described how much his family history looms in his mind.

In April, Mr Raab told the Sunday Times: “My father was Jewish and came over in 1938 from Czechoslovakia with his mother, father and uncle and the rest perished.”

In the same interview, he described how, as a young boy, he would "over goulash, dumplings and strudel" hear about "the devastation that my family felt both about what the Nazis did but also the savaging of the country and the crushing of freedom by the Soviet regime that followed".

He has also expressed concern at Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s approach to antisemitism.

Mr Raab said: "I don’t think anyone could say that through his acts, or his failure to act, Jeremy Corbyn has done anything to assuage the concerns of people that Labour takes a soft approach to antisemitism, or even is a safe haven for antisemites.”

Mr Raab, 44, studied at Oxford before he worked as a lawyer at the Foreign Office and as chief of staff to Mr Davis when the Tories were in opposition.

In the summer of 1998, Mr Raab spent time at Birzeit University in the West Bank, where he worked for one of the principal Palestinian negotiators of the Oslo Peace Accords.

He spent time on the bank benches before being dramatically thrust into the limelight as one of the PM’s key ministers.

A devout Brexiteer, Mr Raab was a co-founder of Change Britain which was closely linked to the Vote Leave campaign.

Before entering Parliament, Mr Raab worked for the Foreign Office and advised on the Arab-Israel conflict.

MP for Esher and Walton since 2010, he lives in Thames Ditton, Surrey, with his wife Erika and two sons Peter and Joshua and his heroes include right-wing US President Ronald Reagan and Gandhi.

In July 2010, Mr Raab told the Cambridge Union how his father had "married my mother, an English Protestant. I married a Brazilian Catholic.

“When we have children, I’ve got no idea which box they should tick on the diversity questionnaires.

"I hope they’ve been scrapped by then. Because I want my children to grow up in a meritocratic society, where they are judged as individuals – blind to race, religion, gender and sexuality."

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