Sunak says Suella Braverman has ‘expressed regret’ for speeding scandal as he’s told to launch investigation

Politics

Labour is demanding an investigation into reports Home Secretary Suella Braverman asked civil servants to help her avoid a group speeding awareness course to dodge a fine.

The shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper called it “shocking” that Ms Braverman had reportedly tried to bend the normal process for speeding drivers.

“As Home Secretary, Suella Braverman is responsible for upholding the law, yet this report suggests she has tried to abuse her position to get round the normal penalties,” said Ms Cooper.

“We’ve had 13 years of the Tories trying to dodge the rules for themselves and their mates. Enough is enough.”

She called for an “urgent investigation,” starting with the Prime Minister’s Independent Adviser on Ministers’ Interests, Laurie Magnus, assessing whether the Home Secretary’s behaviour breached the ministerial code.

Ms Cooper’s response comes after a report by the Sunday Times claims Ms Braverman, 43, had been caught speeding last summer and opted to attend a driving awareness course rather than accept a fine and points on her licence.

Instead of signing up to an in-person course with other motorists, or completing one online that would show her name and face to other participants, the home secretary allegedly asked civil servants to arrange a private one-to-one course.

More on Suella Braverman

When the civil servants refused, she sought help from a political aide, who requested the private course organiser provided a private session, or allowed her to use an alias or turn her camera off.

The home secretary did not know such requests had been made on her behalf, sources familiar with the matter told the paper.

The provider refused, and Ms Braverman opted to take the three points on her licence, the Sunday Times reported.

The paper’s sources close to the Home Secretary dispute that she breached the ministerial code and say that the case was settled by her taking the points.

A Cabinet Office spokesperson said: “It would not be appropriate to comment on the existence or content of advice between government departments.”

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Sunak investigated over rules requiring MPs to declare interests

Ms Cooper said Prime Minister Rishi Sunak should explain how much he knew when he reappointed Ms Braverman as Home Secretary.

Ms Braverman had resigned in the last days of Liz Truss’s tenure as PM after sending an official document from her personal email to another MP.

Rishi Sunak had promised “integrity, professionalism and accountability” when he became Prime Minister last October, in an apparent attempt to contrast himself with his predecessor Boris Johnson, who resigned after a series of scandals.

Since becoming prime minister, has lost two ministers and close allies, deputy prime minister Dominic Raab and minister without portfolio Gavin Williamson, following bullying allegations.

He was also forced to sack Nadhim Zahawi, the Tory chairman, following an investigation into his tax affairs.

Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Alistair Carmichael MP also called for Ms Braverman to be “urgently investigated”, saying her name should be added to the “nearly endless list of Ministers who have had to undergo the same”.

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