By Connor Steel
OPPOSITION PARTIES have called for an investigation into Home Secretary Suella Braverman after reports emerged in the Sunday Times this weekend; which alleges that the Fareham MP broke the “ministerial code” by asking civil servants to help her avoid a group awareness course after she was caught speeding last year.
This full article was released online late on Saturday evening and says that Ms Braverman queried about the possibility of arranging a private one-to-one driving awareness course during the summer of 2022. Back then she was Attorney General and was also weeks away from being appointed Home Secretary under Liz Truss.
Reports further allege that the civil servants refused to help this request and the Fareham MP instead turned to a political aide, who attempted to make arrangements through the course provider. Once this was rejected it is believed that Ms Braverman opted to take all three points on her licence instead of attending any course.
If proved this could be seen as a breach of the ministerial code which says that Government ministers “must always uphold the political impartiality of the civil service and not ask civil servants to act in a way that would conflict with the civil service codes”. Any breach could see the Home Secretary forced to resign from her top cabinet role and can also be suspended from appearing in the Houses of Parliament for a specific timeframe
Labour and the Liberal Democrats have quickly called for an “urgent investigation” into these claims; starting with the Prime Minister’s Independent Adviser on Ministers’ Interests Laurie Magnus. This would then assess whether the Home Secretary’s behaviours breached this ministerial code and published reports could follow.
The ‘Shadow’ Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said: “As Home Secretary Suella Braverman is responsible for upholding our law, yet this report suggests she has tried to abuse her position to get round normal penalties. We’ve had 13 years of the Tories trying to dodge the rules for themselves & their mates. Enough is enough.”
A Cabinet Office spokesperson said: “It would not be appropriate to comment on the existence or content of advice between Government departments.” But these allegations provide a further challenge to Rishi Sunak who has seen a variety of ministers either resign or be sacked; including Dominic Rabb after bullying claims.
Ms Braverman has not commented at the time of writing but it does conclude an awful week for the Fareham MP. She drew criticism for comments made during a National Conservatism conference and saw disruptions whilst making a speech; a recent YouGov poll seeing her voter poll rating plummet across the party divisions.
Readers are encouraged to visit media sites such as BBC News, Sky News and ITV News for all developing updates on this story; whilst further reaction will be broadcast through political programmes early on Sunday.
PICTURED BY ALAMY (2KABR1Y): Home Secretary enters a vehicle from Downing Street during late 2022.