Michael Gove fears Suella Braverman is coming under fire because of her push to reform the Home Office
- Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove said Suella Braverman is driving change
- He made the comments on the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg
- The Home Secretary was fired by Liz Truss but was reappointed under Sunak
- She had sent a confidential document to the wrong person from personal email
Suella Braverman is under attack because she is driving change in the Home Office, her Cabinet colleague Michael Gove suggested yesterday.
The Levelling Up Secretary insisted the under-fire Home Secretary is a ‘first-rate, front-rank politician’ and is only taking ‘flak’ because she is ‘over the target’.
His comments on the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg came as it emerged that Mrs Braverman took hours to respond to an email warning her she had sent a confidential document to the wrong person.
The Home Secretary was fired by Liz Truss after sharing a highly sensitive message to Tory MP Sir John Hayes from her personal email – and accidentally copying in an aide to another MP.
Suella Braverman is under attack because she is driving change in the Home Office, her Cabinet colleague Michael Gove suggested yesterday
Her actions constituted two breaches of the ministerial code and raised security concerns.
Mrs Braverman said she ‘rapidly’ reported the mistake, and she was reappointed to Rishi Sunak’s Cabinet when he became Prime Minister last week.
But an email seen by the BBC has thrown doubt over her claims about the speed with which she acted.
Mrs Braverman was sent a message at around 8.30am on October 19 informing her she had sent an email in error an hour earlier, the broadcaster said.
The Levelling Up Secretary insisted the under-fire Home Secretary is a ‘first-rate, front-rank politician’ and is only taking ‘flak’ because she is ‘over the target’
Shortly after 10am she responded, telling the recipient to ‘delete and ignore’ the message.
But it was not until around 12pm that the Home Secretary instructed her officials to tell the Cabinet Secretary what had happened, according to a source close to Mrs Braverman.
Confronted yesterday with the minister’s email telling the erroneous recipient to ignore the earlier message, Mr Gove insisted her request was ‘standard practice’.
And he suggested Mrs Braverman is facing opposition because she is ‘brave’ and ‘making changes’, telling the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg: ‘You only take flak if you’re over the target.’
The former journalist also appeared to blame the media for the furore around the matter, saying: ‘It becomes a distraction if people are asking these questions.’
Labour is demanding the Government publish its assessments of Ms Braverman’s sharing of a sensitive document with a Tory backbencher from a personal email without permission.
His comments on the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg came as it emerged that Mrs Braverman took hours to respond to an email warning her she had sent a confidential document to the wrong person
But Mr Gove indicated that will not happen.
‘When we publish everything, we also potentially publish information that can compromise the effective operation, not just of government, but of national security itself,’ he told the BBC.
‘I also, critically, want to ensure that what we don’t do is, on the basis of the imperfect information that is in the public domain, rush to judgment in a way that would seem to me to be inappropriate.’
Asked whether Mrs Braverman is a politician of integrity, Mr Gove said: ‘Absolutely.
‘I am satisfied, more than satisfied, that in resigning, accepting responsibility, apologising, and then in being assured by the Cabinet Secretary and the Prime Minister that Suella coming back into office was the right thing, that Suella is now in a position to do the work that she is dedicated to doing.’
Mr Gove said his Cabinet colleague ‘deserves a second chance’.
But Labour’s shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper told Sky News’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme: ‘You can’t have a Home Secretary who is not trusted by the security service, who is not trusted with important Government information.’