Suella Braverman was sacked from Truss’s government on October 19, saying in her resignation letter she had sent a draft ministerial statement regarding the government policy on migration from her personal email, which she said was due for imminent publication but accepted was “a technical infringement of the rules”.
Sunak reappointed Braverman to the same role, one of the four Great Offices of State, on Tuesday.
Former Conservative party chairman Jake Berry told TalkTV’s “Piers Morgan Uncensored” on Wednesday: “From my own knowledge, there were multiple breaches of the ministerial code. It was sent from a private email address to another MP. She then sought to copy in that individual’s wife and accidentally sent it to a staffer in Parliament. To me that seems a really serious breach, especially when it was documents relating to cybersecurity, as I believe. As I understand it, the evidence was put to her and she accepted the evidence, rather than the other way round.”
During PMQs Sunak had defended his appointment of Braverman, saying: “She made an error of judgment, but she recognised that, she raised the matter and she accepted her mistake. That is why I was delighted to welcome her back into a united Cabinet that brings experience and stability to the heart of government.”
Thangam Debbonaire MP, Labour’s shadow leader of the House of Commons, said: “Suella Braverman’s appointment raises serious questions about Rishi Sunak’s judgment and the public deserves answers now. The PM must swiftly offer clarity to these contradicting versions of events — which relate to our country’s national security. If Rishi Sunak has misled parliament and the country, he needs to correct the record urgently and act.”
Jeremy Quin, minister for the Cabinet Office, responded: “It is very simple: the home secretary made a mistake, and has acknowledged that she made a mistake, but she offered her resignation and stood down. The Prime Minister has looked again, and has decided, as is his right, that she can return to government. I believe in redemption.”
Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper raised the matter during an urgent question in the House of Commons. “The home secretary is responsible for national security, so has the home office, the Cabinet Office or the Security Service now undertaken an investigation of her security breaches to establish how many others there have been? What security clearance has the home secretary been given? Does she still have access to the most sensitive documents and information, and did the Cabinet Secretary warn against her reappointment,” Cooper asked.
Labour MP Ben Bradshaw said that Braverman had done “immense damage, in her previous brief tenure in the job, to our relations with India through her comments about Indian visitors overstaying their visas. The consequence is that the British people are now the only people in Europe who do not have access to e-visas to visit India. That is doing great damage to our tourism sector and jeopardising the travel plans of thousands of British families.”
“Does the home secretary have full security clearance, including access to the most classified information,” asked Labour MP Kevan Jones.