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Suella Braverman: Rishi Sunak still considering whether to order investigation

Suella Braverman: Rishi Sunak still considering whether to order investigation

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is still considering whether to order an investigation into Suella Braverman's conduct, No 10 has said.
The PM's official spokesman said he was "still looking at all the requisite information".

Opposition parties accused him of "dither and delay".

The home secretary is facing claims she asked civil servants to arrange a one-to-one speed awareness course for her, after being caught speeding in 2022.

Mr Sunak has spoken to his ethics adviser and Mrs Braverman about the issue but is still deciding whether to order an investigation into whether she broke the ministerial code.

On Monday, Mrs Braverman said she was "confident nothing untoward happened" but has refused to confirm whether she did ask civil servants to arrange a private course for her.

Asking an urgent question in the Commons, Labour's deputy leader Angela Rayner said Mrs Braverman had "serious questions to answer" and accused the prime minister of "days of dither and delay".

In response, Cabinet Office minister Jeremy Quin said: "It is right that the prime minister... be allowed time to receive relevant information on this matter."

He added that MPs would be updated "in due course".

However, Liberal Democrat Chief Whip Wendy Chamberlain said: "This endless dither and delay needs to end now.

"Sunak needs to grow a backbone and tell his ethics adviser to investigate these latest allegations."

SNP Cabinet Office spokeswoman Kirsty Blackman also raised claims, reported by the Independent , that Mrs Braverman failed to disclose her previous work with the Rwandan government before she became an MP.

In 2011 Mrs Braverman co-founded the Africa Justice Foundation, a charity which helped train Rwandan government lawyers.

As home secretary, Mrs Braverman has been an enthusiastic champion of the government's Rwanda policy, which seeks to send some asylum seekers to the east African country.

Ms Blackman called for an investigation into "all alleged ministerial code breaches".

Mr Quin said he had not seen the full article but understood Mrs Braverman's work with the foundation was "some considerable time ago" and a "charitable endeavour before she entered Parliament".

Several other Conservative MPs defended Mrs Braverman in the Commons, with Jonathan Gullis describing the allegations against her as a "witch hunt".

Sir Edward Leigh described the "moral outrage" over Mrs Braverman's alleged conduct as "ludicrous".

The ministerial code requires ministers to ensure "no conflict arises" between their public duties and their private interests.

It also sets out that ministers must uphold the political impartiality of the civil service.

After being caught speeding, Ms Braverman, who was then attorney general, faced getting three points on her licence and a fine, or a course as part of a group.

A government source told the BBC the senior minister had been "concerned" about her insurance premiums, and favoured doing a course. She is reported to have asked civil servants about a one-on-one course, citing security concerns about doing one as part of a group. She was told it was not a matter for the civil service.

She then asked a special adviser to try to arrange a private course.

When the speed course provider said there was no option to do this, Mrs Braverman opted to pay the fine and accept the points, because she was "very busy" a source told the BBC. By this point she had been reappointed as home secretary in Mr Sunak's government.

The same government source refused to say whether Mrs Braverman's motivation to do the course in private was to reduce the chances of her being recognised by members of the public.

After serving as attorney general between February 2020 and September 2022, Mrs Braverman was promoted to home secretary under Liz Truss.

She resigned on 19 October after sending an official document from a personal email to a backbench MP - describing it as a "technical infringement" ministerial rules.

But she was reappointed to the same role by Mr Sunak six days later following the collapse of Ms Truss's government.
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