In 2022, during Liz Truss' premiership, the then UK home secretary Suella Braverman was forced to resign after she breached ministerial rules by sending an official document from her personal email to a fellow MP.
A year later, Braverman, the current home secretary, may face the same plight after she reportedly attempted to dodge a driving fine on being caught speeding outside London. She was the Attorney General of the country then. The current controversy has landed the Rishi Sunak government in an uncomfortable spot.
Though the home secretary's spokesperson has said that she "accepts that she was speeding last summer and regrets doing so", opposition parties are up in arms seeking an independent investigation to determine if Braverman broke the ministerial code. So much that it overshadowed British prime minister Rishi Sunak's G7 news conference in Japan.
Sunak is expected to consult with his ethics adviser on Monday to discuss the issue, but he has kept his options open. "I don’t know the full details of what’s happened, nor have I spoken to the home secretary," Sunak said when asked if he still backed her.
Nevertheless, media reports claim that he would be forced to seek an investigation, considering not doing so would invite criticisms from Labour and factions in his party. Besides, there aren't enough supporters for Suella from the cabinet or the party either.
This isn't the first time Braversman is courting controversy for her actions and remarks, mostly with issues connected to immigration.
Two months back, she had an email sent out to Conservative Party members blaming "an activist blob of left-wing lawyers, civil servants and the Labour Party" for blocking previous attempts to tackle illegal migration. She was then accused of potentially breaking the ministerial code by questioning the impartiality of public servants.
The list of her gaffe also includes the off-colour joke she made while on a trip to Rwanda, where people who make illegal journeys to the UK were to be relocated as per the UK's controversial resettlement plan. Much to the chagrin of her party, Braverman joked that she was so impressed by the decor of the homes being built for asylum seekers that she could use the interior designer.
She has also targeted environmental protesters, human rights activists and equal rights campaigners. While discussing the Public Order Bill to crack down on disruptive protests last year, Braverman told the Commons: "It’s the Guardian-reading, tofu-eating wokerati, dare I say, the anti-growth coalition that we have to thank for the disruption that we are seeing on our roads today."
Braverman's stinging comments targetted Indians too. In a direct challenge to No 10 Downing Street, Braverman questioned the government policy on trade deal with India, stating that she had "concerns about having an open borders migration policy with India because I don’t think that’s what people voted for with Brexit."
The comment did not go down well with ministers and officials in New Delhi though no public statements were issued in this regard.
But, now that the final decision on Braverman's fate lies with the Prime Minister, sources within Downing Street told Guardian that things may be starting to go cool, and there is "no appetite" in No 10 to defend the home secretary.