Labour demand probe over claims Suella Braverman asked civil servants to help her swerve speeding fine

20 May 2023, 20:58 | Updated: 21 May 2023, 00:18

Labour shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper (R) has called on Rishi Sunak to launch an investigation into the claims
Labour shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper (R) has called on Rishi Sunak to launch an investigation into the claims. Picture: Getty / Alamy

By Chris Samuel

Labour have called for Rishi Sunak to launch an investigation into claims Suella Braverman asked civil servants to help her avoid getting a fine and points on her license by arranging a private driving awareness course.

The Home Secretary allegedly asked staff to organise a one-on-one course after being caught speeding in the summer of 2022.

It's reported the arrangement would have meant the Ms Braverman would not have to attend a course as normal with other motorists, either in-person or online (where her face would be seen by other participants).

Ms Braverman is said to have initially opted to attend a course in lieu of points and the fine, with sources telling The 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 the outlet, Ms Braverman asked officials to contact the course provider and try to negotiate her receiving a one-on-one session instead.

Listen and subscribe to Unprecedented: Inside Downing Street on Global Player

Civil servants are said to have refused to do so over concerns they were being asked to become involved in Ms Braverman's personal affairs, and were told not to assist her by the Cabinet Office after asking for advice.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman departs from number 10, following the weekly Cabinet meeting at Downing Street on May 09, 2023 in London, England.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman departs from number 10, following the weekly Cabinet meeting at Downing Street on May 09, 2023 in London, England. Picture: Getty

One of Ms Braverman's political aides was then reportedly asked by the Home Secretary to help her, and tried to persuade the provider to undertake the online course using an alias or with her camera switched off, but it refused to do so.

According to the paper, sources close to The Home Secretary said she was unaware that these requests were made on her behalf, and repeatedly refused to comment on whether her motivation had been to reduces the chances a member of the public recognising her.

Read more: 'This can't go on': Phillip Schofield quits as This Morning host after spat with Holly Willoughby

Read more: Man City win third successive Premier League title after Arsenal stumble at Nottingham Forest

Ms Braverman later choose to accept the three points on her licence.

Suella Braverman was caught speeding last summer
Suella Braverman was caught speeding last summer. Picture: Getty

The report has prompted Labour and the Lib Dems to call for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to look into the matter.

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper called the reports "shocking" called for the PM's Independent Adviser on Ministers' Interests Laurie Magnus to look into the claims.

“The home secretary and the prime minister need to both urgently explain what has been going on, including what the prime minister knew when he reappointed her," she said.

“Rishi Sunak was too weak to deal with her the last time she broke the ministerial code, is he still too weak to take action now?

“We need an urgent investigation into what has gone on here, starting with Laurie Magnus seeing how this is possibly compatible with the ministerial code.”

Labour shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper has called on Rishi Sunak to probe the claims
Labour shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper has called on Rishi Sunak to probe the claims. Picture: Getty

Meanwhile, Alistair Carmichael, the Lib Dems’ home affairs spokesperson, said: “Once again for the Government it’s one rule for them and another for the rest of us.

“Suella Braverman should be urgently investigated by the ethics adviser and add her name to the near endless list of ministers who have had to undergo the same.

“Time and time again we are seeing a conveyor belt of Conservative politicians run roughshod over the rules and drag our politics into the gutter.

“Now, the buck stops with Rishi Sunak himself to stop the endless headlines of sleaze and scandal.”

Read more: 'Stylist supreme': Tributes pour in to Martin Amis following famed British novelist's death aged 73

Read more: Police seize 15 'American Bully XL dogs' and arrest woman after father, 37, mauled to death in Leigh

A source close to Mrs Braverman told PA news agency that the speeding ticket she received and the arrangements for dealing with that followed were reported to the Cabinet Office at the time.

The Times reports sources close to the Home Secretary dispute that her actions amounted to any breach of the ministerial code, and insist her decision to accept the points on her license resolved the issue.

A source close to the Ms Braverman told the paper: "Ms Braverman accepted three points for a speeding offence which took place last summer.

"The Cabinet Office was notified of this as requested by Ms Braverman. She was not and is not disqualified from driving."

A cabinet spokesperson said: “It would not be appropriate to comment on the existence of or content of advice between government departments.”

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

JD Vance joked UK could become 'Islamist' under Labour

Trump's vice-president pick JD Vance joked UK could be 'first Islamist country to have nuclear weapons' under Labour

Britain's Prime Minister Keir Starmer hosts the first roundtable with regional UK mayors, along with Angela Rayner

Ministers pledge to give more powers to local areas, in 'devolution revolution'

Starmer has launched a defence review

Keir Starmer launches review of armed forces as he warns of 'dangerous and volatile world'

Annabel Croft and Graziano di Prima   at Strictly Come Dancing - The Live Tour. Utilita Arena. 18th January 2024.  Ref:LMK11-180124-001 Steve Bealing/Landmark Media

Strictly Come Dancing pro Graziano Di Prima 'flees the country' after being fired following claims of misconduct

Joe Biden has admitted that calling for Democrats to put Trump in a 'bullseye' was a mistake

Joe Biden admits it was a 'mistake' to urge Democrats to 'put Donald Trump in a bullseye' after assassination attempt

Jay Slater's mother Debbie Duncan is said to be 'demanding answers'

Jay Slater's mother 'demands answers' after human remains found just yards from teen's last known location

Trump has selected Vance as his running mate

Who is JD Vance, Donald Trump's pick for vice-president?

Donald Trump has selected JD Vance (right) as his running mate and would-be vice president

Donald Trump chooses senator JD Vance as running mate, as he is officially nominated as Republican candidate

Ralf Schumacher and David Schumacher at Hockenheimring on April 05, 2022

'I'm 100% behind you': Ralf Schumacher's son congratulates his father after he comes out as gay

David Lammy has called for a ceasefire on a trip to Israel

Foreign Secretary David Lammy reiterates call for Israel-Hamas ceasefire and hostage deal in Gaza

Hamza Alam

East Londoner who 'disguised himself as a librarian' while urging TikTok followers to kill Jewish people jailed for 4 years

The England fan is confident England can bring football home in the next four years.

England fan has ‘no regrets’ over doomed Euro ‘winners’ tattoo

Queen Camilla left in histerics as Jersey cows get frisky during royal visit while bemused King watches on

Queen Camilla left in hysterics as Jersey cows get frisky during royal visit while bemused King watches on

Home Secretary Yvette Cooper during a visit to Lewisham Police Station in south London.

Home Secretary to probe 'disgraceful' election intimidation, as Jo Cox's sister says UK politics 'not in a good place'

An FBI investigation discovered the influencer had forced women to work for her in poor conditions with no pay

Instagram influencer jailed for human trafficking and slavery

People shelter under umbrellas as the rain pounds down last week.

Return of the summer washout: UK braces for flooding and travel chaos as Met Office issues weather warnings