Rishi Sunak 'to consult independent ethics adviser' over Suella Braverman speeding claims

21 May 2023, 21:07 | Updated: 22 May 2023, 08:40

Rishi Sunak will reportedly consult his independent ethics adviser over Suella Braverman's handling of a speeding offence
Rishi Sunak will reportedly consult his independent ethics adviser over Suella Braverman's handling of a speeding offence. Picture: Alamy

By Chris Samuel

Rishi Sunak will reportedly consult his independent ethics adviser over Suella Braverman's handling of a speeding offence, following claims the Home Secretary asked civil servants to arrange a private one-on-one driving awareness course for her.

The prime minister will speak with his adviser about the matter after returning to London from the G7 summit in Japan, Sky News reports.

Ms Braverman, 43, had been caught speeding while attorney general last summer and is said to have initially opted to attend a course in lieu of points and the fine, with sources telling The Sunday Times that the cabinet minister, who earns £150,000-a-year, made the decision over concerns that points on her licence would increase her car insurance premium.

But according to the outlet, Ms Braverman asked officials to contact the course provider and try to negotiate her receiving a one-on-one session instead.

After civil servants refused to do so, she is reported to have asked a political aide to help her, who tried unsuccessfully to persuade the course organiser to provide a private session, or allow her to use an alias or turn her camera off.

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After the provider refused, the Home Secretary opted to take the three points on her licence, the outlet reported.

A spokesperson for Ms Braverman said she "accepts that she was speeding last summer and regrets doing so".

A spokesperson for the Home Secretary has said she accepts she was speeding and "regrets doing so"
A spokesperson for the Home Secretary has said she accepts she was speeding and "regrets doing so". Picture: Alamy

"She took the three points and paid the fine last year," they added.

Mr Sunak was asked about the row earlier on Sunday at the end of the G7 summit, and appeared to be frustrated by the question.

"I don't know the full details of what has happened nor have I spoken to the Home Secretary," he said.

"I think you can see first-hand what I have been doing over the last day or so but I understand that she's expressed regret for speeding, accepted the penalty and paid the fine."

Rishi Sunak will reportedly speak with his ethics adviser upon his return from the G7 summit in Japan
Rishi Sunak will reportedly speak with his ethics adviser upon his return from the G7 summit in Japan. Picture: Alamy

A No 10 spokesperson later insisted the PM does "of course" have full confidence in Ms Braverman.

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper branded the claims "shocking" and called for Mr Sunak to launch an investigation.

"We've had 13 years of the Tories trying to dodge the rules for themselves and their mates. Enough is enough," she said.

The prime minister alone has the power to trigger an ethics investigation, as Mr Sunak did over former Tory party chairman Nadhim Zawahi's tax affairs.

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