Labour MP Voices Fears Over Suella Braverman And Russian Interference

Chris Bryant was adding to fears about the home secretary's appointment since her security breach.
Chris Bryant, Labour MP for Rhondda, spoke about the security concerns involving the home secretary
Chris Bryant, Labour MP for Rhondda, spoke about the security concerns involving the home secretary
BBC Parliament

A Labour MP has weighed into the ongoing concerns around Suella Braverman’s recent security breach, warning there could be consequences with Russia.

Braverman resigned from Liz Truss’s government last Wednesday after she committed a security breach by sending an official document from her private email account to fellow MP Sir John Hayes.

She claimed it was a draft written ministerial statement on immigration which was meant to be published imminently anyway.

But, she admitted she had breached the ministerial code by doing so. It later emerged that she had copied in someone she thought was Sir John’s wife but was actually an aide to Tory MP Andrew Percy.

Despite this chaotic fallout, Rishi Sunak, Truss’s successor, reappointed her less than a week later, causing national outcry.

And Labour’s Chris Bryant pointed out yet another problem with the security breach when in the Commons on Thursday.

″One of the things that Putin does is that he and his team target individual politicians in this country,” he began.

The Conservative Party has received substantial donations from Russian donors over the years. The government itself was heavily criticised shortly after the invasion of Ukraine for not sanctioning Russian oligarchs more quickly.

Bryant then asked: ″How safe is it therefore for the home secretary to have been using a separate and unsecured email address? Doesn’t that need to be addressed?”

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Oliver Dowden, replied: “The home secretary accepted that in her conduct she did make errors of judgement, she recognised that, she accepted her mistake, she apologised and she resigned.

“And I think that was an appropriate course of action.”

Chris Bryant - Putin targets individual politicians in this country... so how safe therefore is it for the Home Secretary(Suella Braverman) to have been using a separate & unsecured email address... doesn't that need to be addressed?

— Haggis_UK 🇬🇧 🇪🇺 (@Haggis_UK) October 27, 2022

Jeremy Fleming, the head of spy agency GCHQ, warned just before war broke out that there is a “heightened risk” about cyberattacks on the UK’s “critical national infrastructure”.

The week before, two banks had been attacked by hackers linked to the GRU spy agency, too.

Since then, cyberspace has become yet another front in the ongoing war, with Russia warning the West that it risks a “direct military clash” if it interferes with any of its critical online infrastructure back in June.

Bryant also told the Commons that the UK had not been “robust enough” against Russia when it annexed the Ukrainian peninsula, Crimea, back in 2014.

This is now seen by many as the year the war originally started, rather than February 2022 when Russian president Vladimir Putin tried to invade the whole European country.

Meanwhile, sacked Tory party chairman Jake Berry accused the home secretary of “multiple” breaches of the ministerial code.

Despite pressing concerns, Sunak has defended reappointing Braverman, saying she brought “experience and stability” to government.


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