Sunak says Braverman has ‘learned from mistake’ as Starmer demands her sacking

Sunak says Braverman has ‘learned from mistake’ as Starmer demands her sacking

Rishi Sunak has insisted Suella Braverman has “learned from her mistake” as Sir Keir Starmer demanded the Home Secretary’s sacking for her security breach.

The Prime Minister insisted the Tories are “united” despite the backlash spreading to the Tory ranks over Ms Braverman’s reappointment just six days after she was forced out.

He was resisting demands to launch an inquiry into Ms Braverman breaking the Ministerial Code by sharing a sensitive document with a Tory backbencher from a personal email without permission.

Mr Sunak also sought to clarify his remarks in the Commons that Ms Braverman had “raised” the matter, indicating he meant she had brought it up with him rather than before she was forced out, an account that has been disputed.

Rishi Sunak visit to Croydon
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak speaks to the media during a visit to Croydon University Hospital, south London, on Friday (Leon Neal/PA)

“Now, as I said in Parliament earlier this week, she raised this topic with me when I discussed reappointing her as Home Secretary,” he told broadcasters during a visit to a hospital in Croydon, south London.

“And I’m confident that she’s learned from her mistake.”

Mr Sunak insisted he does not regret the appointment despite the backlash, saying: “No, as I have said, she’s accepted her mistake and learned from it and I’m confident of that.”

But Sir Keir maintained that Mr Sunak has brokered a “grubby deal trading security for support” in the Tory leadership contest, which he won after receiving Ms Braverman’s backing.

“It really matters. I’ve been the director of public prosecutions, I know how important it is for the Home Secretary to be trusted, because others have to share documents with her,” he said during a visit to Thurrock, Essex.

“To be sacked last week for breach of security and now be put back in place as the Home Secretary is an act of weakness from the Prime Minister.

“He should sack her – that will be the strong thing to do. That’s what I would do if I was prime minister.”

Mr Sunak rehired Ms Braverman this week in the same role that she was forced to leave by Liz Truss while she was prime minister.

Some Conservatives have broken rank to publicly air their concerns, with Caroline Nokes backing opposition calls for an inquiry and former Tory chairman Sir Jake Berry describing the breach as “really serious”.

Mark Pritchard, who used to sit on Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee, said a “breakdown” in trust between MI5 and Ms Braverman must be “sorted ASAP”.

His comment came after suggestions Ms Braverman – dubbed “Leaky Sue” – had earlier been investigated by Government officials after the leaking of a story involving the security services.

On Friday, Mr Sunak said: “I am confident that our party is united.”

Downing Street was forced to insist that Ms Braverman maintains “strong relationships” with the security services.

The Mail reported that MI5 played a role in the inquiry after the leak at the time Ms Braverman was attorney general sparked “concern” in the security service.