Rishi Sunak defends under-fire home secretary Suella Braverman at PMQs

Suella Braverman sat on the frontbench during PMQs as she came under fire by Sir Keir Starmer.

Rishi Sunak has defended his under-fire home secretary after she admitted to having sent official documents from her government email to her personal address on six occasions.

Suella Braverman admitted to the breach in a letter to the Commons’ Home Affairs Committee.

She resigned from the role while serving under Liz Truss having committed the offence.

However, she was reappointed as home secretary by Sunak when he entered No 10 just six days later.

The Cabinet secretary has also been criticised after claiming that southern England was facing an “invasion” of illegal migrants.

Braverman is under pressure to tackle overcrowding at the Manston asylum processing centre in Kent.

Around 4,000 people are currently being held at the former RAF base, despite it having been designed to accommodate 1,600 people on a temporary basis.

At Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, Labour MP Dame Meg Hillier challenged Sunak over Braverman’s position in his government.

She said: “The Prime Minister promised integrity, professionalism and accountability in government.

“His home secretary has leaked information, is overseeing chaos in the Home Office and has broken the law.

“What will she actually have to do to get the sack?”

The Prime Minister indicated that Braverman had set out the full sequence of events which had led to her breaching security protocols.

He told MPs: “The home secretary made an error of judgement, but she recognised her mistake and took accountability for her actions.

“She has now set out transparently, in detail, a full sequence of events in a letter to the Labour chair of the Home Affairs select committee, offered to share relevant documents with the chair.

“And she is now getting on with the job – cracking down on crime, defending our borders – something I know the party opposite has no interest in supporting.”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer also attacked Sunak on the issue, as he criticised Braverman’s reappointment as home secretary,

“He did a grubby deal with her, putting her in charge of Britain’s security just so he could dodge an election,” Starmer told the Prime Minister.

“She’s broken the ministerial code, lost control of her refugees centre and put our security at risk.

“She did get one thing right, she finally admitted that the Tories have broken the asylum system.

“Criminal gangs running amok, thousands crossing the channel in small boats every week, hardly any claims processed.

“So why doesn’t he get a proper home secretary, scrap the Rwanda gimmick, crack down on smuggling gangs, end the small boat crossings, speed up asylum claims and agree an international deal on refugees.

“Start governing for once and get a grip.”

Sunak hit back at the Labour leader, pointing to his previous support for his predecessor Jeremy Corbyn,

“(Starmer) rightly raised the topic of national security because it is important,” Sunak responded.

“But this is the person who in 2019 told the BBC and I quote, ‘I do think Jeremy Corbyn would make a great prime minister’.

“Let’s remember that national security agenda – abolishing our armed forces, scrapping the nuclear deterrent, withdrawing from NATO, voting against every single anti-terror law we try, befriending Hamas and Hezbollah.

“He may want to forget about it, but we will remind him of it every week because it’s the Conservative government that will keep this country safe.”

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