New row over Suella Braverman as ‘boomerang’ Home Secretary accused of ‘multiple breaches’ of ministerial rules in sharing ‘cybersecurity documents’ as it emerges she was probed as part of a leak inquiry involving MI5

  • New questions over Suella Braverman’s swift reinstatement as Home Secretary
  • Former Tory chair Jake Berry claims she committed ‘multiple breaches’ of rules 
  • PM Rishi Sunak under fire over decision to reinstall Mrs Braverman to major job

New questions are being asked about Suella Braverman’s swift reinstatement as Home Secretary as a senior Tory claimed she had committed ‘multiple breaches’ of ministerial rules.

New Prime Minister Rishi Sunak prompted a row this week when he re-appointed Mrs Braverman to the top job at the Home Office.

It came just six days after she had been forced to quit the role after admitting to sending an official document from her personal email.

The Home Secretary confessed to a ‘technical infringement’ of ministerial rules in her resignation letter.

But Sir Jake Berry, the former Tory chairman, alleged there had been ‘multiple breaches of the ministerial code’.

He also queried Mrs Braverman’s claim that she had ‘rapidly reported’ her ‘mistake’ to Whitehall officials.

‘As I understand it, the evidence was put to her and she accepted the evidence, rather than the other way round,’ Sir Jake told TalkTV.

Mr Sunak is facing calls to return to Parliament to correct the record after he yesterday told MPs that Mrs Braverman had ‘raised the matter’ herself.

The Home Secretary this morning declined to appear in the House of Commons to answer an Urgent Question about the migrant processing centre at Manston, Kent. 

The fresh questions about Mrs Braverman come at the same time as it emerged she was previously probed by Government officials as part of a leak inquiry.

The leak related to a sensitive story involving Britain’s security services.

Nadhim Zahawi, who replace Sir Jake as Tory chairman this week, this morning insisted Mrs Braverman deserves a ‘second chance’ as Home Secretary.

He claimed Mr Sunak was right to give her a shot at ‘redemption’ after less than a week out of the Cabinet.

Suella Braverman’s reappointment as Home Secretary came just six days after she had been forced to quit the role after admitting to sending an official document from her personal email

Sir Jake Berry, the former Tory chairman, alleged there had been ‘multiple breaches of the ministerial code’

Labour have accused the PM and Mrs Braverman of a ‘grubby deal’ which, the party claims, saw her support Mr Sunak’s Tory leadership campaign in return for getting her old job back.

The PM yesterday dodged a question by Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer over whether officials had raised concerns about his decision to reinstall Mrs Braverman.

No10 also declined to deny suggestions that Mr Sunak had been advised against rehiring her – although Downing Street rejected claims that Cabinet Secretary Simon Case was ‘livid’ over Mrs Braverman’s swift return.

Speaking to TalkTV’s Piers Morgan Uncensored last night, Sir Jake suggested Mrs Braverman had committed more than one infringement of ministerial rules.

‘From my own knowledge, there were multiple breaches of the ministerial code,’ he said.

It has been reported Mrs Braverman – dubbed ‘leaky Sue’ – emailed Cabinet papers to her private Gmail account and then on to senior Tory backbencher Sir John Hayes and, mistakenly, an assistant to another Conservative MP. 

Sir Jake claimed this represented a ‘really serious breach’. He added: ‘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.

‘That seems a really serious breach. The Cabinet Secretary had his say at the time.

‘I doubt he’s changed his mind in the last six days, but that’s a matter for the new PM.’

According to the Daily Mail, Mrs Braverman was included in an investigation this year by a little-known unit within the Cabinet Office that handles leak inquiries

The leak related to a story about the Government’s plan to apply for an injunction against the BBC to stop it from identifying a spy who was accused of using his position to terrorise his former partner.

At the time, Mrs Braverman was Attorney General, the Government’s chief legal advisor – and the story said that it was she who was seeking the injunction.

The newspaper reported that the investigation, which also involved MI5, ultimately found no ‘conclusive evidence’ of who the leaker was. 

Mr Zahawi today defended Mr Sunak over his decision to reinstate Mrs Braverman.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘She fell on her sword, she didn’t try to ride it out and try to hang on to her job.

‘This PM looked at the details of this case and he believes in second chances and he’s giving Suella Braverman a second chance.

‘I believe in redemption, as I’m sure many of your listeners would do as well.’

Labour’s shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper yesterday wrote to the Cabinet Secretary to demand a full investigation into Mrs Braverman’s actions.

She wrote: ‘If a full investigation has not yet taken place into the extent of this and other possible security breaches, I am urging you and the Home Office to now urgently undertake such an investigation.

‘The public has a right to know that there are proper secure information procedures in place to cover the person who has been given charge of our national security.

‘It must include the extent of the Home Secretary’s use of private email accounts to circulate Government papers and the extent to which official documents have been sent outside Government.’

Ms Cooper also called for a probe into ‘other concerns that have been raised about possible serious information and security breaches’ by the Home Secretary.

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