Suella Braverman Admits Forwarding Emails To Personal Phone Six Times

The home secretary apologised to Rishi Sunak when she was reappointed after he entered No.10.
Home secretary Suella Braverman.
Home secretary Suella Braverman.
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Suella Braverman has admitted that she sent official documents from her government email to her personal address on six occasions.

The home secretary made the admission as she outlined the breach of the ministerial code which triggered her resignation under Liz Truss.

Braverman leaked Truss’s proposals for a “growth visa” to lure highly-skilled migrants to Britain.

She was forced to resign before being controversially reappointed just six days later by Rishi Sunak - who she had backed for the Tory leadership.

The email that triggered her downfall was sent at 7.25am on October 19 to Tory backbencher Sir John Hayes and, accidentally, a staff member of Conservative MP Andrew Percy. However, it was was hours later before she confessed to officials what had happened.

In a letter to the Commons home affairs select committee’s chairwoman Dame Diana Johnson, Braverman apologised for the breach.

But, according to her letter, Braverman revealed she had emailed official government documents from her personal phone six times in less than two months before she resigned as home secretary.

She said that was on occasions when she was conducting meetings virtually or “related to public lines to take in interviews”.

Braverman said all the emails, sent between October 6 and September 19, were done so because it was “more practicable” to use her personal phone to read the documents.

“None of the documents in question concerned national security, intelligence agency or cyber security matters, and did not pose any risk to national security,” she said.

“None of the documents were classified as SECRET or TOP SECRET.”

The Six Emails Sent To Suella’s Personal Email

15 Sept 2022 - 8.46am

Attached papers and briefing for a ministerial meeting on illegal / legal migration. Attended 8.45am virtual pre-brief meeting while in transit.

19 Sept 2022 - 2.10pm

Attached papers and briefing for a 2.15pm virtual meeting whilst in transit on recent protest activity and public disorder.

30 Sept 2022 - 10.49am

Attached media briefing with public lines ahead of a virtual newspaper interview attended whilst off site.

5 Oct 2022 - 3.22pm

Attached papers and briefing sent whilst in transit for a 5pm virtual meeting that was subsequently cancelled.

14 Oct 2022 - 6.44pm

Attached submission on protest activity that was the subject of a virtual ministerial meeting set up on Friday evening. The meeting was due to take place on morning of Saturday 15 Oct 2022, it was subsequently held on morning of Sunday 16 Oct 2022 (attended virtually from home).

16 Oct 2022 - 8.07am

Attached briefing for same virtual ministerial meeting on protest activity on Sunday 16 Oct 2022 (attended virtually from home).

Braverman said the home office review “confirmed that I had never used my government email to send any information to external recipients outside of government”.

Other than on October 19, the event which triggered her resignation, “I have not used my personal email account to send official home office documents to other people outside of government”.

Braverman said she apologised to Sunak when she was reappointed as home secretary after he entered No.10.

She also revealed she had requested briefing and guidance by “security experts on what constitutes appropriate use of government and personal IT”.

However, she is fighting to hold on to her job after a number of allegations ranging from leaks to her handling of the migrant crisis.

Suella Braverman’s Account Of The October 19 Leak


She used her personal email account on her personal phone to send the draft statement to Sir John and intended to copy in his secretary’s parliamentary email address, but instead sent it to a member of Percy’s staff.

“Before or around” 10am

Braverman checked her personal email and found a reply saying the statement had been “sent to me in error” by someone with a “parliamentary email address with a similar name to Sir John’s secretary”.

Braverman said at this point she realised she had made a mistake and “decided that I would inform my officials as soon as practicable”. She asked the recipient of the draft statement to “delete the message and ignore”.

Around noon

It was during Prime Minister’s Questions that Braverman began telling officials, having gone to a home office board meeting and an appointment with two constituents in the meantime.

Braverman said she had received an email from Percy, warning that he was considering raising a point of order in the Commons and telling her “you are nominally in charge of the security of this nation, we have received many warnings even as lowly backbenchers about cyber security”.

12.56pm and 12.57pm

Braverman forward all relevant emails to her private secretary, then met Cabinet secretary Simon Case at around 2pm.


Braverman met Truss and shortly afterwards resigned.

Lib Dem MP Wendy Chamberlain said: “This was not a one-off error, the home secretary has admitted breaking the rules on an industrial scale.

“If the home secretary wants to maintain even a shred of her dignity and credibility, she must resign now and apologise for her violations of the public’s trust.”

On Monday morning, the prime minister’s official spokesman said that Sunak had full confidence in Braverman.

He said that the home secretary has now set out a “detailed account” and had “apologised”.

“She has provided a detailed account around those issues, both the individual issue of forwarding that email and a further investigation,” he said.

“I think she has set out in quite a lot of detail what has happened and the mitigations that have been taken.

“Clearly, as she makes clear, she made an error of judgment, she recognises that the approach she took was not right and it is for those reasons that she felt it was right to resign, and obviously she has apologised, both to the prime minister, the MP involved, and she has set out a detailed letter to the committee today.”

Braverman is due to appear in the House of Commons later on Monday when she is expected to take questions on the matter, as well as on the issues at the Manston migrant processing centre.


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