Rishi Sunak to meet his ethics adviser to discuss Suella Braverman’s speeding fine
Rishi Sunak is to meet his ethics adviser to discuss the way Suella Braverman handled a speeding offence.
The Home Secretary has been widely criticised after it was claimed by the Sunday Times that she asked for advice from civil servants about arranging a private speed awareness course after she was caught speeding last summer.
Ms Braverman is facing a possible Cabinet Office probe into whether she broke the Ministerial Code by asking for civil servants assistance over a driving offence.
Downing Street has confirmed the Prime Minister will speak to Sir Laurie Magnus about her actions when he returns to London on Monday from the G7 summit in Japan.
Mr Magnus is only able to launch an investigation into potential breaches of the Ministerial Code if requested to do so by the Prime Minister.
A No 10 source said: “The Prime Minister has always followed the proper process in these matters, and will consult the independent adviser upon his return to London.”
The announcement comes after after Mr Sunak earlier today refused to back Ms Braverman after he was quizzed about the row at a G7 meeting by a reporter.
He said: “I don’t know the full details of what has happened nor have I spoken to the home secretary.
“I think you can see first-hand what I have been doing over the last day or so but I understand that she’s expressed regret for speeding, accepted the penalty and paid the fine.”
A spokesman for the home secretary said she “accepts that she was speeding last summer and regrets doing so”.
They added: “She took the three points and paid the fine last year.”
Ms Braverman was caught speeding when she was serving as Attorney General and asked civil servants to help organise a one-to-one course so she would not have to be in group, according to The Sunday Times.
After they refused to help her, she asked a political aide for assistance with the matter – before opting to take three points on her driving licence over attending a course.
The incident was described as “shocking” by Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper.
She said: “We’ve had 13 years of the Tories trying to dodge the rules for themselves and their mates. Enough is enough.”
Labour’s shadow health minister, Liz Kendall called for Mr Sunak to launch a probe into whether Ms Braverman broke ministerial code standards.
Braverman has done “absolutely nothing wrong” in they way she handled her offence, according to a road traffic lawyer.
Nick Freeman, known as Mr Loophole for winning celebrities’ cases on legal technicalities, said providers prefer high profile people to take private courses as it is less distracting.
He said: “She is eligible for a one-to-one.
“And many of the course providers actually prefer to have a one-to-one because it proves to be less of a distraction, so from that perspective, she’s done absolutely nothing wrong.”
Additional reporting by Press Association.