No Breach of Ministerial Code, Asserts Prime Minister in Light of Speed Awareness Course Controversy
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has affirmed his support for Home Secretary Suella Braverman amidst mounting calls for a probe into whether she violated the ministerial code.
The controversy pertains to allegations of Braverman seeking help from civil servants to evade a group speed awareness course. Opposition parties have rallied for an investigation into the matter and some have even urged for Braverman’s dismissal.
PM Sunak, in defence of the Home Secretary, clarified on Sunday that his independent ethics advisor found no grounds for a further investigation. Sunak stated in his letter to Braverman:
“On this occasion further investigation is not necessary and I have accepted that advice.”
He further added, asserting that Braverman’s actions did not equate to breaching the Ministerial Code:
“On the basis of your letter and our discussion, my decision is that these matters do not amount to a breach of the Ministerial Code.”
In response, Braverman addressed Sunak with her own account of the incident:
“At no point did I try to avoid sanction… At no point did I instruct officials to behave contrary to the advice that was provided.”
She also expressed regret for the potential misperception of her violating the ministerial code, adding:
“I deeply regret that my actions may have given rise to that perception, and I apologise for the distraction this has caused.”
When asked about the controversy at the G7 summit, Sunak steered the conversation towards queries about the summit itself. Both Labour and the LibDems have been vocal about their demands for an investigation, criticizing Sunak for his perceived hesitation.
However, Braverman remains adamant in her innocence, stating:
“I’m confident that nothing untoward has happened.”
Her stance seems to be validated by prominent Doughty Street Barrister, Adam Wagner, who stated after reviewing Braverman’s account:
“Taking this at face value, it seems that Suella Braverman sought advice… and was advised against, and said they weren’t further involved. Which seems fine.”
In the wake of continued allegations against Braverman, a Tory MP controversially stated that civil servants are the new “enemy within”. A former Downing Street advisor lamented, “The last vestiges of any sense of independence within the civil service have been obliterated”.