Braverman avoids ministerial code investigation

By Connor Steel

HOME SECRETARY Suella Braverman will face no future investigation into the allegations she breached the ministerial code when handling a personal speeding offence last year; the Prime Minister ending four days of intense speculation by stating the Fareham MP didn’t break the rules following advice from an ethics advisor.

As written in the Globe last Saturday evening, Ms Braverman was accused of asking civil servants about the possibility of completing a “private driving awareness” course after a speeding offence. Once rejected, she is said to have asked a political aide for support; who then started making arrangements with course providers.

This was seen as a breach of the “ministerial code” and these reports drew critics from most opposition party leaders; both Labour and the Liberal Democrats calling for an investigation by the PM’S Independent Adviser on Ministers’ Interests Laurie Magnus. This would assess the facts and publish a report if granted by the PM.

Mr Sunak held talks at Downing Street with Ms Braverman on Monday before she then answered a variety of questions from the House of Commons. This was an previously organised session and allowed the Fareham MP to react to the claims; confirming that she had paid the fine and accepted the three points on her licence.

It is believed that Ms Braverman was asked to provide further details regarding the fresh allegations and how she responded to the speeding offence. She responded that a slot had been allocated for a group course but did query in September if it still remained appropriate in her new job role as Home Secretary under Liz Truss.

After detailing these circumstances, which are available to read here, the Fareham MP expressed regret that her actions had given a perception that she was trying to avoid sanction. She stated this wasn’t the case and further apologised for distractions this had caused to the Government since the story first broke in the media.

In response Mr Sunak confirmed he had consulted with his independent advisor and was advised any further investigation is “not necessary”; ultimately deciding these matters “don’t amount to a breach of the ministerial code.” However he did say: “better actions could have avoided in giving rise to the perception of impropriety.”

This exchange of letters became public on Wednesday lunchtime and means the Home Secretary will stay in her current cabinet position; which became the subject of jibes during PMQs. The Liberal Democrats stated it was a “cowardly cop out” and added the “PM was too weak to even order an investigation” about the reports.

Meanwhile Sir Keir Starmer referenced a recent speech in which Ms Braverman offered out potential ways to reduce immigration coming to the UK regarding “fruit pickers”; slamming the Home Secretary’s “let them pick fruit” policy. He then asked if she still had the “backing” of Mr Sunak; a question that the PM did mostly avoid.

Readers are encouraged to visit media sites such as BBC NewsSky News and ITV News for all developing updates on this story; whilst an announcement on immigration numbers is expected to be released on 25/05.

PICTURED BY ALAMY (2R3200G): Suella Braverman enters into Downing Street for a meeting with the PM.