Suella Braverman gives further details on ministerial code breach in letter to Select Committee chair

In a letter to the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee’s chairwoman Dame Diana Johnson, Ms Braverman apologised for the breach

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Suella Braverman has given further details of the breach of the ministerial code which triggered her resignation as home secretary under Liz Truss.

In a letter to the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee’s chairwoman Dame Diana Johnson, Ms Braverman apologised for the breach.

She said she had apologised to Rishi Sunak when she was reappointed as Home Secretary and publicly repeated that apology.

“In my appointment discussion with the new Prime Minister, I raised this mistake and apologised to him, and would like to do so again here,” she said.

Suella Braverman
Suella Braverman
Ms Braverman said she had apologised to Rishi Sunak when she was reappointed as Home Secretary
Ms Braverman said she had apologised to Rishi Sunak when she was reappointed as Home Secretary

“I also gave the Prime Minister assurances that I would not use my personal email for official business and reaffirmed my understanding of and adherence to the Ministerial Code.”

Ms Braverman has insisted there was nothing market sensitive in the draft written ministerial statement (WMS) she sent from her private email address to Tory backbencher Sir John Hayes.

She said former prime minister Ms Truss had “specifically” asked her to engage with parliamentary colleagues to discuss the content of the planned WMS.

The draft WMS consisted of “high-level proposals for liberalising our migration rules”, including “increasing the number of low-skilled foreign workers, as well as general plans for controlling illegal migration”.

Much of the document had already been briefed to MPs – including Sir John – “at the request” of Ms Truss, although Ms Braverman acknowledged that “some sentences” had not been fully agreed by all departments.

Ms Braverman said: “I want the Home Affairs Select Committee to be reassured on the very important point about the nature of the document that I shared by mistake.

“It did not contain details of any particular case work. It did not contain any market-sensitive data as all the data contained in the document was already in the public domain.

Ms Braverman said that between September 6 and October 19 she had sent official documents from her Government email to her personal address on six occasions.

She said that was on occasions when she was conducting meetings virtually or “related to public lines to take in interviews”.

“None of the documents in question concerned national security, intelligence agency or cyber security matters, and did not pose any risk to national security,” she said.

“None of the documents were classified as SECRET or TOP SECRET.”

Ms Braverman said the Home Office review “confirmed that I had never used my Government email to send any information to external recipients outside of government”.

Other than on October 19, the event which triggered her resignation, “I have not used my personal email account to send official Home Office documents to other people outside of government”.