Pressure is mounting on Rishi Sunak to launch an investigation into whether Suella Braverman broke government rules by asking civil servants to help her avoid speeding points.

Former Conservative Party chair Sir Jake Berry said the home secretary clearly had “questions to answer”, while another former Tory minister told The Independent that the allegations were “the final straw”.

Labour and the Lib Dems have called for an ethics inquiry to be held into whether Ms Braverman broke the ministerial code – and told the PM to come to parliament on Monday to explain what he knew about the claims.

Appearing at a press conference at the G7 summit in Hiroshima, Mr Sunak declined to back his embattled minister. He said had not spoken to Ms Braverman, and did not know the details of her case.

The PM appeared frustrated at repeated questioning by journalists on the issue, asking reporters: “Did you have any questions about the summit?”

A No 10 spokesperson later insisted Mr Sunak had full confidence in Ms Braverman.

On Sunday evening, Downing Street confirmed Mr Sunak would consult his ethics advisor, Sir Laurie Magnus, on the issue when he returns to the UK on Monday from the G7 summit in Japan, but stopped short of announcing an official inquiry.

Sir Laurie can only begin an investigation into potential breaches of the ministerial code if requested to do so by the PM.

According to a report in The Sunday Times, the home secretary asked officials to organise a private speed-awareness course for her, which would have allowed her to avoid both the points on her licence and the PR disaster of appearing in a public class with other lawbreakers.

The Daily Mirror also reported that Ms Braverman’s team had denied she had been caught speeding when the newspaper approached her about the offence six weeks ago, and that they had claimed at the time that enemies in Westminster were spreading misinformation about her.

Jake Berry, a Tory MP who previously chaired the Conservative Party, told the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg programme: “I don’t think we’ve seen enough about this story yet. It certainly brings into question, I think, the use of civil servants, so I think there are definitely questions to be answered.

“Let’s see what is said. I guess it will be in the House of Commons, an urgent question or statement about it on Monday – let’s see what is said there.”

Sir Jake said people should not speed, but that if they did, and were caught, then “you just take the medicine”.

The senior Conservative said he did not know whether Ms Braverman had breached the ministerial code because he did not have enough information about the case.

Home secretary Suella Braverman reportedly asked civil servants to arrange a bespoke speed-awareness course for her in an effort to avoid having points on her licence

(PA Wire)

Another former minister warned that the scandal was “both the excuse people have been looking for and the final straw” for Ms Braverman.

Environment secretary Therese Coffey, who was sent out on television on Sunday morning to speak for the government, insisted to the BBC that government ministers do not “think they are above the rules”.

But Labour shadow minister Liz Kendall pointed out that Ms Braverman had already had to resign once as home secretary for breaching the rules before being reappointed by Mr Sunak days later.

“I think Rishi Sunak should launch an investigation into it. He should ask his independent adviser whether she has breached the standards of the ministerial code here,” Ms Kendall told Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme. “I think a lot of people watching this programme will think, why is it always one rule for them and another rule for everybody else?”

Ms Kendall suggested that Ms Braverman was in post because Mr Sunak “had to keep the right wing of his party on board”, adding that there was “no point him getting all tetchy at the G7 press conference”.

Liberal Democrat chief whip Wendy Chamberlain said Mr Sunak was “so weak he can’t even make sure his own ministers maintain the very basic level of integrity”, adding: “The least he can do is come to parliament and explain this farce.”

And the party’s Alistair Carmichael accused Mr Sunak of “stealing page one from Boris Johnson’s playbook” by refusing to set up an investigation immediately.

“Time and time again Sunak has put Conservative politicians, who think they are above the rules, in his cabinet and every time they have taken the British people for fools,” he said.

Mr Sunak, who pledged to oversee a government of “integrity”, has already lost three high-level ministers in seven months – with deputy prime minister Dominic Raab the most recent to quit, following bullying allegations.

Pushed on Ms Braverman’s actions, Ms Coffey told the BBC: “I don’t think government ministers do think they are above the rules. There are people that I think were referred to earlier, who have recently lost their licence; some people are getting fines.

“We’ve seen that across all walks of public life. I think what has been written in the newspapers is there, that’s the detail that has been shared with the public so far.”

She added: “I don’t have any more details than that. Pretty much everybody has the option to pay a fine, take points or go on a course. The precise aspects about the course is what you’re trying to speculate, but I don’t have any more details than that.”



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