DOMINIC Raab could fall on his sword and quit before a damning bullying probe, Whitehall sources say.
The Deputy PM faced a Commons mauling earlier today over multiple claims he mistreated staff.
Government insiders warned the brewing scandal was reaching "breaking point".
One said: "There is a world in which Dom falls on his sword and accepts some of his behaviour fell short of good government and accepts he's becoming a distraction."
Other senior Tories believe Mr Raab has realised that days of headlines around him are derailing the PM's agenda.
But last night sources close to the Deputy PM insisted he would fight on to clear his name.
The DPM denies all the claims against him and was witnessed in the Commons, mouthing "it's not true" when Labour boss, Sir Keir Starmer, savaged the PM over his handling of the affair.
Questions remain about whether the investigation into his behaviour would still be published if jumped before he was pushed.
A spokesperson for Mr Raab: said: "Dominic called for the investigation so he can answer any accusations put to him in a fair and formal setting, and he fully intends to see it through."
It came as a top Tory defended him, saying civil servants who "can't stand the heat should get out of the kitchen".
Sir Bernard Jenkin came out swinging to defend him.
No10 refused to deny that Mr Sunak had been informally warned about his conduct before he put him in the Cabinet.
Downing Street would only say he was "not aware of any formal complaints" at the time.
Public Administration Committee Chair, Sir Bernard, insisted that politics is a "tough" job and said Mr Raab was "demanding" to work for but was not a bully.
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He told the BBC: "Bullying is a very subjective thing.
"We all know there are many people who are incapable of being bullied and relish a tough boss.
"There are plenty of other people who find aggressive behaviour or overbearing behaviour very intimidating and are very easily bullied.
"To an extent, if you’re at the top of the civil service or working closely with ministers, if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen."
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