23 May 2023

Sunak still considering potential investigation into Braverman claims

23 May 2023

Rishi Sunak is still mulling over whether or not to order an investigation into Suella Braverman’s conduct.

Downing Street on Tuesday said that the Prime Minister was still “looking at all the requisite information”, amid claims the Home Secretary asked officials to help arrange a private speed awareness course for her.

Ms Braverman has been accused of breaching the Ministerial Code by asking taxpayer-funded civil servants to assist with a private matter.

The Home Secretary insists she did “nothing untoward”.

Since returning from the G7, the Prime Minister has met both the independent adviser and the Home Secretary and asked for further information

She admitted speeding, paid a fine and took penalty points on her driving licence.

But Ms Braverman did not deny asking officials for help in trying to arrange a one-to-one speed awareness course rather than joining fellow motorists on the programme, which allows people with minor offences to avoid getting points on their licences.

Labour has tried to pile further pressure on the Prime Minister, bringing an urgent question to the Commons on the matter.

The party’s deputy leader Angela Rayner asked “how many strikes” before the Home Secretary is “out”?

She said: “After days of dither and delay… the Prime Minister still hasn’t decided whether there should be an investigation by his ethics adviser.

“When can we expect to know what the Prime Minister is thinking on this matter?”

Cabinet Office minister Jeremy Quin told MPs: “The Prime Minister made clear to the House yesterday that he is receiving information on the issues raised.

“Since returning from the G7, the Prime Minister has met both the independent adviser and the Home Secretary and asked for further information.

“It is right that the Prime Minister, as the head of the executive and the arbiter of the Ministerial Code, be allowed time to receive relevant information on this matter.

“Honourable members will be updated on this in due course.”

Downing Street also faced questions about a report in the Independent newspaper that Ms Braverman failed to disclose previous work with the Rwandan government.

According to the paper, the Home Secretary helped co-found a charity that trained Rwandan government lawyers between 2010 and 2015.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman did not comment directly on the report, but said: “Ministers are required to make the requisite declarations.

“And if the independent adviser thinks they are of issue they are then declared. That’s an important distinction.”

Several Tory MPs came to the defence of the Home Secretary on Tuesday.

Among those who spoke from the backbenches in support of Ms Braverman was Sir Edward Leigh, who told his fellow MPs: “All this moral outrage is ludicrous that a minister asked her private office about something and she takes their advice.

“We all know what’s this is all about; they’re attacking a good Home Secretary who is trying to attack the real scandal of mass immigration to this country.”

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