Dominic Raab has said he is not a bully and always “behaved professionally” towards staff.
The deputy prime minister is facing an inquiry into multiple allegations about his conduct.
In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Raab denied the allegations and said he would “engage” with the investigation.
“I’m confident I have behaved professionally at all times,” he said.
Asked by the newspaper if he was any more robust than former prime minister Margaret Thatcher, he said: “I think it’s difficult to compare different eras.
“But I think standards of professionalism, whether they’re in the business sector, the voluntary sector or the public sector, should involve setting high standards and zero bullying, and those two things are perfectly reconcilable.”
Rishi Sunak has resisted calls for Raab to be suspended or to step aside while he is investigated, with the prime minister instead waiting for the inquiry to conclude.
“The independent adviser is conducting his investigation; I can’t prejudge the outcome of that investigation. It’s right that it concludes,” Sunak said earlier this week.
“But as people have seen from how I’ve acted in the past, when I’m presented with conclusive independent findings that someone in my government has not acted with the integrity or standards that I would expect of them, I won’t hesitate to take swift and decisive action.
“That’s what I’ve done in the past. But with regard to this situation, it’s right that we let the independent process continue.”