Sunak criticises Braverman over speeding ticket row but will take no more action

British PM clears home secretary of any breach of ministerial code

British prime minister Rishi Sunak has admonished his home secretary, Suella Braverman, over her handling of a speeding ticket she received last year but will take no further action.

Mr Sunak has declined to open a formal ethics investigation into the matter and has cleared her of any breach of the ministerial code.

In a letter released publicly this morning, Mr Sunak has written to Ms Braverman suggesting she should have taken a “better course of action”, after she tried to get out of doing a group speed-awareness course last year.

She had opted to do a public course in lieu of a fine and penalty points for a speeding ticket that she picked up last June when she was attorney general.


However, once she was appointed home secretary later in the year, she asked civil servants to see if she could do a private course instead.

Critics of the home secretary accused her of breaking the ministerial code by involving civil servants in her private affairs. Ministers found to have breached the code usually either resign or are sacked.

Ms Braverman told Mr Sunak that she had tried to get out of doing the online version of the speeding course after being warned that she could be “covertly recorded”, while there were further security concerns around doing the course in person.

She subsequently opted to pay a fine and take three penalty points.

The prime minister consulted his independent ethics adviser, Laurie Magnus, who he said advised him “on this occasion” further investigation was not necessary.

By kicking the matter to touch, Mr Sunak has avoided a damaging confrontation with the right flank of his party. Backbench MPs are already unsettled in advance of the release of net migration figures this week, which are expected to show that the number of legal migrants to Britain has trebled since Brexit.

Mark Paul

Mark Paul

Mark Paul is London Correspondent for The Irish Times