Suella Braverman Swerves Straight Questions Over Speeding Allegations

Earlier in the day she insisted there was “nothing untoward” about how she handled being caught speeding.
Home secretary Suella Braverman
Home secretary Suella Braverman
Parliament TV

Suella Braverman ducked and dived straight questions on whether she asked civil servants to arrange a private driving awareness course.

The home secretary said she regretted speeding last summer but insisted she did not try to avoid sanction.

It follows a Sunday Times exclusive that revealed Braverman had asked civil servants to help her avoid a fine for speeding last summer.

Earlier in the day she insisted there was “nothing untoward” about how she handled being caught speeding.

Labour’s Emma Lewell-Buck asked Braverman in the Commons: “If caught speeding, does the home secretary agree that no one should be above the law?”

The home secretary replied: “Last summer I was speeding, I regret that, I paid the fine and I took the penalty. At no point did I attempt to evade sanction.”

Shadow policing minister Sarah Jones made another attempt to force the home secretary to divulge what really went on.

Jones asked: “Does the home secretary think people who speed should be given the option to get private speeding awareness courses, rather than doing them with everyone else? And, in her own case, what exactly did she ask her civil servants to help her with?”

Braverman replied: “Hopefully we’re not going to be too repetitive today.” She repeated her previous statement then attacked Labour, claiming the saga was a distraction from their “failure” to have “serious” proposals on crime.

Yvette Cooper tried to back the home secretary into a corner
Yvette Cooper tried to back the home secretary into a corner
Parliament TV

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper took a turn at trying to corner the home secretary, asking: “When she got a speeding penalty, it seems she sought special treatment, a private course, and asked civil servants to help.

“She refused to say what she asked civil servants to do so I ask her that again. And to also tell us whether she authorised her special adviser to tell journalists that there wasn’t a speeding penalty when there was.”

Braverman once again repeated her statement, adding: “What is serious here, is the priorities of the British people. I’m getting on with the job of delivering for the British people.”

Cooper made another attempt to get Braverman to answer the question, saying: “Everyone can see that she isn’t answering the basic factual questions on what she said to the civil service and to her special adviser.

“It matters because it is her job to show she is abiding by the ministerial code - that she’s broken before - on private and public interests and to enforce rules fairly for everyone else.”

Speaking to broadcasters on earlier in the afternoon, Braverman did not deny she asked civil servants to intervene.

“Last summer, I was speeding. I regret that. I paid the fine and I took the points but we’re focused now on delivering for the British people and working for them,” she said.

“In relation to the process, I’m focused on delivering for the British people, doing my job as home secretary and what I will say is that, in my view, I’m confident that nothing untoward has happened.”

Prime minister Rishi Sunak is considering launching a formal investigation into whether she broke the ministerial code.

Downing Street said the prime minister had spoken to Sir Laurie Magnus, his independent ethics adviser, this morning about the case.

The PM’s spokesperson said Sunak was “availing himself of information” about the situation after his return from the G7 summit in Japan overnight.

However, he insisted the prime minister has “full confidence” in the home secretary.

Labour leader Keir Starmer said Braverman’s actions looked “inappropriate” and she should resign if she is found to have breached the ministerial code.


What's Hot