…By Enitan Thompson for TDPel Media.
Rishi Sunak, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, has refrained from endorsing Home Secretary Suella Braverman amidst allegations that she requested assistance from civil servants to avoid accumulating penalty points on her driving license for speeding.
Despite calls from Labour and the Liberal Democrats for an investigation into the Cabinet minister, Sunak did not confirm whether he would initiate one.
During a press conference at the G7 summit in Hiroshima, Sunak stated that he lacked knowledge of the “full details” and had not yet spoken to Braverman.
However, he acknowledged that she had expressed remorse for her speeding offense.
A subsequent response from a No. 10 spokesperson claimed that Sunak indeed had full confidence in the Home Secretary.
Sunak displayed frustration when questioned about the possibility of involving his ethics adviser, Sir Laurie Magnus, in investigating the claims.
He redirected the focus to the summit but was further probed about Braverman.
According to The Sunday Times, Braverman supposedly asked Home Office aides to help arrange a personalized driving awareness course.
When officials declined the request, she allegedly sought assistance from a political aide to find an alternative to attending a course with other motorists.
The speeding incident occurred outside London when Braverman held the position of Attorney General last summer.
The newspaper reported that an aide made several requests to a speeding awareness course provider, including inquiring about the possibility of Braverman taking an online course using an alias or turning off her camera.
Ultimately, Braverman chose to accept three penalty points on her driving license.
Yvette Cooper, the Labour shadow home secretary, called for an urgent investigation into the matter, emphasizing the need to uphold integrity, professionalism, and accountability in government.
Cooper suggested that the ethics adviser should examine the situation to determine whether it aligns with the ministerial code.
While Sir Laurie requires Sunak’s approval to launch an investigation, breaching the ministerial code often leads to resignation.
A source close to Braverman informed the press that the speeding ticket and subsequent arrangements were reported to the Cabinet Office at the time.
The source stated that Braverman was concerned about a potential increase in her insurance premium and wanted to arrange a course.
According to the Sunday Times, Braverman approached civil servants about the matter after being appointed Home Secretary by Liz Truss.
Braverman previously resigned in October after sharing a sensitive document with a Conservative backbencher without permission, but Sunak reappointed her just six days later upon assuming office.
Alistair Carmichael, the Liberal Democrats’ home affairs spokesman, called for Braverman’s investigation by the ethics adviser, joining a long list of ministers who have faced similar scrutiny.
Carmichael expressed concern about a recurring pattern of Conservative politicians disregarding rules and tarnishing the state of politics.
A representative close to the Home Secretary clarified that Braverman admitted to the speeding offense and accepted three penalty points, which occurred last summer.
The Cabinet Office was duly notified.
The source added that Braverman was not disqualified from driving.
In the United Kingdom, motorists can face driving bans if they accumulate 12 or more penalty points on their licenses.
The Home Secretary’s spokesperson stated that Braverman regretted her speeding offense and had accepted the three points and paid the fine in the previous year.
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