Suella Braverman ‘confident that nothing untoward happened’ over speeding ticket
Suella Braverman is facing fresh allegations that she broke the ministerial code over her failure to formally disclose years of previous work with the Rwandan government.
The home secretary is already facing accusations that she broke the ministerial code after the Sunday Times revealed Ms Braverman asked her staff to help her dodge a speeding fine.
Now Ms Braverman is facing further pressure after she failed to disclose that she co-founded a charity called the Africa Justice Foundation which worked with several key members of President Paul Kagame’s government who are involved in the UK’s £140m deal to send asylum seekers to Rwanda.
Ms Braverman did not officially disclose her previous links to the country when appointed home secretary in 2022, despite ongoing legal challenges alleging politically-driven human rights violations including torture, murder and kidnappings.
One former minister told The Independent that the home secretary “never mentioned” her work with the charity and should have been “upfront and transparent”.
A spokesperson for the home secretary said it was “not necessary” for Ms Braverman to disclose her links with the charity, which she resigned from shortly before being elected to parliament.
Suella Braverman accused of fresh ministerial code breaches after failing to disclose Rwanda links
Suella Braverman is facing fresh allegations of ministerial code breaches over her failure to formally disclose years of previous work with the Rwandan government.
The home secretary co-founded a charity called the Africa Justice Foundation with Cherie Blair, which trained Rwandan government lawyers between 2010 and 2015.
Several people the charity worked with are now key members of President Paul Kagame’s government and are involved in the UK’s £140m deal to send asylum seekers to Rwanda.
One former minister told The Independent that the home secretary “never mentioned” her work with the charity and should have been “upfront and transparent”, while two former standards chiefs said Ms Braverman should have formally disclosed her former role.
Ms Braverman resigned from her post as director of the Africa Justice Foundation weeks before being elected to parliament, and did not declare her previous role to Home Office permanent secretary Matthew Rycroft last year.
Martha Mchardy23 May 2023 11:45
ICYMI: Tory MPs urge Sunak to sack Braverman if she broke rules over speeding offence
Conservative MPs are urging Rishi Sunak to order an investigation into Suella Braverman and sack her if the home secretary is found to have breached the ministerial rules over her handling of a speeding offence.
Senior Tory MPs told The Independent Ms Braverman had shown “constant poor judgement” and appeared to have made “a mistake too far” following reports she asked officials to try to arrange a private speed awareness course rather than take points on her licence.
In her first public comments on the row, the home secretary did not deny asking civil servants to look into the possibility of a one-on-one course – but said she was confident she had done “nothing untoward” and denied trying to “evade” punishment.
Adam Forrest and Archie Mitchell report:
Martha Mchardy23 May 2023 19:00
Watch: Every time Suella Braverman addresses speeding fine controversy in the Commons
Every time Suella Braverman addresses speeding fine controversy in the Commons
Martha Mchardy23 May 2023 18:30
Editorial: Suella Braverman is speeding towards the exit marked ‘arrogant and hypocritical’
Had Suella Braverman abided by Rishi Sunak’s injunction on his first day in office to practice ‘integrity, professionalism and accountability’, she would not now be in the trouble she finds herself.
Martha Mchardy23 May 2023 18:00
Watch: Suella Braverman tells Yvette Cooper to ‘focus on priorities’ after question on speeding ticket
Suella Braverman tells Yvette Cooper to ‘focus on priorities’ after question on speeding ticket
Martha Mchardy23 May 2023 17:30
Watch: GB News journalist immediately contradicted by migration expert over student visa
GB News journalist immediately contradicted by migration expert over student visas
Martha Mchardy23 May 2023 17:00
New immigration rules ‘strike the right balance,’ No 10 insists despite backlash
Downing Street has insisted the Government’s new rules relating to overseas students “strike the right balance” in controlling net migration.
A major tightening of immigration rules will prevent overseas students bringing tens of thousands of dependants to the UK under plans announced by the home secretary today.
No 10 was asked whether Rishi Sunak had considered claims the measures would disproportionately affect women especially from countries such as Nigeria who make up the large bulk of dependants.
The prime minister’s official spokesman said: “We believe this strikes the right balance between acting decisively on net migration and ensuring we remain competitive in attracting international students.”
Downing Street also rejected suggestions the Government has lost control of net migration ahead of official figures being published this week.
A No 10 spokesman said: “I don’t agree with the characterisation. Post-Brexit, the Government does have control of its points-based immigration system.”
Downing Street said significant factors in recent months have had an effect on levels of people entering the country, including the “generosity of the British public” towards people fleeing Ukraine.
Official figures due to be released on Thursday are expected to show net migration at record levels.
Martha Mchardy23 May 2023 16:29
Downing street responds to Braverman ‘witch-hunt’ allegations
MPs are “free to express their view”, Downing Street said when asked about claims by allies of Suella Braverman that the Home Secretary is the victim of a “witch-hunt” over her handling of a speeding offence.
Former minister Sir Edward Leigh earlier said the “moral outrage is ludicrous” and a far cry from “proper scandals”.
Asked whether Rishi Sunak agreed, his official spokesman said: “MPs are free to express their view.
“From the Prime Minister’s perspective, he thinks that when issues are raised they should be considered properly. That’s the process that he has established previously and is adhering to now.”
Martha Mchardy23 May 2023 16:25
Rishi Sunak not ‘dithering’ over Barverman ethics probe, says No 10, but formal investigation still not announced
Downing Street has rejected suggestions that Rishi Sunak is dithering over whether to launch a formal probe into Suella Braverman’s conduct.
Asked why the prime minister is dithering, his official spokesman told reporters: “I wouldn’t characterise it like that.
“I think people would understand that it’s right to gather all the facts before making a decision.”
Pressed on why Mr Sunak is carrying out an investigation himself when he has an independent adviser on ministers’ interests, the spokesman said: “That’s not how I’d characterise it.
“He’s asked for some more information before coming to a decision. I’m sure we will have more to say once that’s concluded.”
Martha Mchardy23 May 2023 16:24
Braverman allies claim ‘witch hunt’ over speeding row
Allies of Suella Braverman have claimed she is the victim of a “witch-hunt” over her handling of a speeding offence.
Tory MP Jonathan Gullis said voters were more interested in policies than the “witch-hunt from the party opposite”.
Miriam Cates said: “This leak is a clear attempt to play the woman not the ball, an attempt that undermines our democracy and distracts from the important job of delivering on ordinary people’s priorities.”
And senior Tory MP Sir Charles Walker said Ms Braverman was “not on my Christmas card list and I’m certainly not on hers” – but questioned why the BBC had asked about Braverman row at the G7.
“I find it hard to get my head around the fact that the BBC sent its political editor half way across the world to a G7 conference summit where we were discussing energy security, Ukraine, defence, to ask our prime minister a question about a speed awareness course. This is the question, why, why?”
Martha Mchardy23 May 2023 16:21