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Suella Braverman ‘asked staff to help her dodge speeding fine’

The home secretary allegedly asked civil servants to help her avoid points on her licence by organising a private driving awareness course

Nick Ferris
Sunday 21 May 2023 01:08 BST
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'Concentrate on the job', senior Tory tells Suella Braverman

Rishi Sunak has been urged to investigate claims Suella Braverman asked her staff to help her dodge a speeding fine.

The home secretary allegedly asked civil servants to help her avoid a fine and points on her licence by instead organising a private driving awareness course.

Such an arrangement would have meant that she would not have had to appear at a public speed awareness course, where other participants would have been able to see that she was in attendance.

After the civil servants refused, a political aide tried to persuade the course provider to agree to the one-on-one course, according to a report in The Sunday Times.

When that request was refused, Ms Braverman is said to have pulled out of the course altogether and opted to pay the fine and take the three points.

Ms Braverman was allegedly issued with the speeding notice after she was caught breaching the limit on a road outside London in summer 2022, when she was attorney general – the government’s chief legal adviser.

Labour shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said the reports were “shocking”.

“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 so it is one rule for her and another for everyone else.

“The home secretary and the prime minister need to both urgently explain what has been going on, including what the prime minister knew when he reappointed her.

“Rishi Sunak was too weak to deal with her the last time she broke the ministerial code, is he still too weak to take action now? We need an urgent investigation into what has gone on here”.

Alistair Carmichael, the Lib Dems’ home affairs spokesperson, said: “Once again for the government, it’s one rule for them and another for the rest of us.

“Suella Braverman should be urgently investigated by the ethics adviser and add her name to the near endless list of ministers who have had to undergo the same.”

A Cabinet Office spokesperson did not deny that the events relating to the speeding fine took place when contacted by The Independent.

A spokesperson for the Home Secretary said: “Mrs Braverman accepts that she was speeding last summer and regrets doing so. She took the three points and paid the fine last year.”

Suella Braverman is alleged to have asked staff to help her avoid getting speeding points on her driving licence (PA)

It would not be the first time the home secretary has breached the ministerial code. Back in October, the right-winger resigned after she was found to have sent an official government document from her personal email, in the dying days of Liz Truss’s 49-day government.

At the time, she admitted to a “technical infringement” of the ministerial rules and said she had taken “responsibility” for her actions by stepping down. But she was re-hired six days later by new prime minister Mr Sunak.

The calls for a probe into Ms Braverman’s conduct will be a further blow to Mr Sunak who has lost two cabinet ministers due to their questionable behaviour in the past five months.

Deputy prime minister Dominic Raab resigned in April after a government inquiry upheld complaints of bullying against him, while former Tory party chairman Nadim Zahawi was sacked in January after failing to disclose he was being investigated by HM Revenue and Customs over his taxes.

“Time and time again we are seeing a conveyor belt of Conservative politicians run roughshod over the rules and drag our politics into the gutter”, Mr Carmichael said.

“Now, the buck stops with Rishi Sunak himself to stop the endless headlines of sleaze and scandal.”

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