Rishi Sunak denies he let Suella Braverman ‘off the hook’ over speeding row as This Morning’s Alison Hammond tells PM she would have ‘loved’ to see Home Secretary at an awareness course (and she’s done two herself)
- PM defends decision not to launch official probe into Home Secretary’s actions
Rishi Sunak today denied he had let Suella Braverman ‘off the hook’ over her speeding row and said it was time to ‘draw a line’ under the incident.
The Prime Minister defended his decision not to launch a formal investigation into the Home Secretary after she asked officials whether she could do a private speed awareness course.
Appearing on ITV’s This Morning, Mr Sunak admitted the row had been a distraction from his and Mrs Braverman’s efforts to ‘stop the boats’ and bring down net migration numbers.
But he stressed the Home Secretary had given a ‘full account’ of what happened and didn’t break ministerial rules.
Mrs Braverman was accused of breaching the ministerial code by asking taxpayer-funded civil servants to help with a private matter, before later deciding not to do a speed awareness course and accepting a fine and penalty points.
This Morning host Hammond, a stand-in presenter after Philip Schofield’s departure and Holly Willoughby’s break from the show, told the PM she would have ‘loved’ the Home Secretary to have done a speed awareness course.
It would have shown Mrs Braverman is ‘one of the people’, the former Big Brother contestant claimed – and she revealed she has previously done two courses herself.
Rishi Sunak denied he had let Suella Braverman ‘off the hook’ over her speeding row and said it was time to ‘draw a line’ under the incident
The Prime Minister defended his decision not to launch a formal investigation into the Home Secretary after she asked officials whether she could do a private speed awareness course
This Morning host Alison Hammond told the PM she would have ‘loved’ the Home Secretary to have done a speed awareness course to show she’s ‘one of the people’
The PM has sought to bring a close to the latest row over the Home Secretary following talks with his ethics adviser, Sir Laurie Magnus.
In an exchange of letters yesterday, Mr Sunak informed Mrs Braverman that Sir Laurie had advised an official investigation was not required.
The PM also revealed his decision that she had not broken ministerial rules, although he warned the Home Secretary she could have taken a ‘better course of action’ to ‘avoid giving rise to the perception of impropriety’.
Labour have criticised the decision, saying a ‘cosy exchange of letters’ appears to have replaced the ‘recognised process’ for investigating ministerial conduct.
Quizzed on This Morning about whether he was annoyed the row had been a distraction – and when it was suggested he had let Mrs Braverman ‘off the hook’ – the PM replied: ‘Sadly politics is full of these types of things.
‘I’d just say slightly differently to how you’ve put it, I haven’t let her off the hook, I’ve gone through the details of what happened.
‘She didn’t break the ministerial code and I’ve spent time going through it. And not just that, I’ve also asked my independent adviser… he’s also met with her.
‘She’s made a fulsome disclosure about what’s happened, she’s expressed regret.’
Mr Sunak added: ‘She took advice. As she herself has said, she might have done things differently now, in hindsight, and that’s the right approach, she’s apologised.
‘And on the basis of that, the independent adviser has said no need for a formal investigation and we can close the matter here. So that’s what we’ve done.’
In an exchange of letters yesterday, Mr Sunak informed Mrs Braverman that his ethics chief Sir Laurie Magnus had advised an official investigation was not required
Hammond interjected to claim it would have been ‘amazing’ to see Mrs Braverman on a speed awareness course and suggested it would show ‘Suella’s like one of the people, she’s one of us, she’s doing a speed awareness course as well, she breaks the law as well, she has to pay the fine or whatever’.
‘I would have loved to have seen her on that speed awareness course – I’ve done two!,’ she added.
‘They were taking selfies of me on the Zoom.’
Mr Sunak replied: ‘The main point is, she took the points, she paid the fine as she should have done, that’s what she did.
‘She was just exploring options for how that might be done, given her position and the fact she has security.
‘She’s made a full account of it, she’s apologised, the independent adviser has also been consulted by me.
‘So I think it’s right to draw a line under it now. What people want us to be focusing is stopping the boats.
‘That’s what they want the Home Secretary to be focusing on – stopping the boats, tackling migration and also keeping us safe.’
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