oops! Suella Braverman denies Tory attack email sent in her name blaming officials for ‘blocking’ efforts to stop illegal immigration – as Rishi Sunak says he disagrees with accusation
Suella Braverman today dismissed a Tory attack email sent in her name blaming officials for “blocking” efforts to curb illegal immigration.
The interior minister did not “saw, signed or endorsed” the message circulated by the party last night.
It included a vicious volley against “an activist blob of left-wing lawyers, civil servants and the Labor Party” for thwarting government policy.
Unions reacted angrily, accusing Ms Braverman of violating the ministerial code with the ‘factually incorrect’ complaint.
But Rishi Sunak’s press secretary told journalists this afternoon that Ms Braverman had nothing to do with the message. And asked if Mr. Sunak agreed with the sentiment, she said, “No.”
The spokeswoman put further questions to Tory headquarters, suggesting there were “operational issues” that will be “reviewed”.
“Of course there should usually be a ministerial approval for things with their name on them or in their name,” she said, suggesting that the process was not followed on this occasion.
Suella Braverman today disowned a Tory attack email sent in her name blaming officials for ‘blocking’ efforts to curb illegal immigration
The interior minister did not “saw, sign or endorse” the message circulated by the party last night (pictured)
Ms Braverman “had a busy day” launching the government’s illegal migration law, designed to prevent small boats from crossing the Channel, she added.
Asked if CCHQ had apologized to the Home Secretary for the blunder, the press secretary said she was not aware of any ‘conversations’ with Ms Braverman.
CCHQ confirmed it is “overhauling” its internal approval processes.
A party spokesman said: ‘This was a CCHQ email and the wording was not seen by the Home Secretary. We are now reviewing our internal approval procedures.”
Earlier Dave Penman, boss of the FDA union, which represents senior officials, wrote to the Prime Minister that the statement should be publicly withdrawn, demanding an apology from Ms Braverman.
“I probably don’t need to remind you that paragraph 5.1 of the Ministerial Code states that ‘Ministers shall maintain the political impartiality of the civil service,’ he wrote.
“I fail to see how the Home Secretary’s statement to members of the Conservative Party can be reconciled with her obligations under the code.”
The union leader called on Mr Sunak to ensure that the ‘statement is urgently withdrawn publicly’ and that Ms Braverman apologizes to staff.
A government source said senior officials quickly raised the matter and the Home Secretary then thanked the Home Office teams involved for all their work on the bill.