Saturday, 3 Jun 2023

Sunak’s eight-word response to G7 question about Braverman speeding claims

Rishi Sunak quizzed by BBC on Suella Braverman speeding row

Rishi Sunak gave an eight-word response when questioned about Suella Braverman’s parking fine row during a G7 summit. The BBC’s political editor Chris Mason asked the Prime Minister about reports Home Secretary Suella Braverman sought advice from civil servants about arranging a private speed awareness course. Sunak responded: “Did you have a question about the summit?”

A government source denied that Mrs Braverman had broken the ministerial code.

After initially asking the reporter whether he has any questions on the G7, he says he understands Braverman has expressed regret for speeding, and has paid the fine.

After the news conference, a Downing Street source said “of course” Sunak has confidence in Braverman, reports the BBC.

It had earlier been reported that Labour urged the Prime Minister to launch an investigation into the claims she had tried to dodge the fine.

The Home Secretary allegedly requested that Home Office aides help organise a one-to-one driving awareness course after she was caught speeding last summer as she looked to swerve accepting endorsements.

Civil servants are said to have denied the alleged request, but Braverman was also accused of turning to a political aide to assist her in attempting to arrange an alternative to having to attend a course with other motorists.

A number of requests were made to a speeding awareness course provider by an aide, reported the Sunday Times, including asking if the senior Conservative minister would be able to undertake an online course, but be allowed to use an alias or have her camera switched off.

These suggestions are said to have been refused, with Braverman opting to accept the three points on her driving licence instead of doing the course. But these claims have been dismissed by some who suggest she had simply asked officials for advice on how to arrange a driving awareness course.

A source close to Braverman said the speeding ticket and subsequent arrangements for dealing with it were reported to the Cabinet Office at the time.

They said the Home Secretary was eager to arrange a course, rather than take the points, as a result of concerns about her insurance premium potentially increasing.

Braverman is understood to have been issued with a speeding notice by police after being caught driving faster than the speed limit on a road outside London when she was attorney general in the summer of 2022.

Labour shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said the reports were “shocking”.

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