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Ministers deny Sunak did 'grubby deal' to bring back Suella Braverman

Ministers DENY Rishi Sunak did a ‘grubby deal’ to install Suella Braverman as Home Secretary and win backing of Tory Right – just DAYS after she quit for breaking security rules

Rishi Sunak’s decision to reinstall Suella Braverman as Home Secretary was defended by ministers today as the PM was accused of a ‘grubby deal’ to win support from the Tory Right.  

Ms Braverman returned to the Home Office yesterday just just six days after quitting for breaching the ministerial code by emailing Cabinet documents to a backbench supporter.

Reports suggest that Mr Sunak agreed to put her back in her old job under a  weekend agreement in which she agreed to back his leadership bid.

The former attorney general, who ran for leader herself in the summer, has emerged as a standard-bearer for the party Right with Culture War attacks on the ‘tofu-eating wokerati’. 

Her return has left Cabinet Secretary Simon Case, who advises ont he ministerial code, ‘livid’, according to the Times. 

But a source close to the Home Secretary told the paper that it was a ‘confected row’, adding: ‘Ministers do this all the time. They use private email and are also WhatsApping documents all the time too.’

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly today insisted there was no deal, insisting that Mr Sunak had the numbers to win the leadership anyway. 

The Foreign Secretary told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘The Prime Minister clearly wants to make sure that he has experience at the top of the Home Office. That’s why he’s reappointed her.’

Ms Braverman’s experience at the Home Office amounts to around six weeks. She was first appointed in September by Liz Truss. 

Shadow education secretary Bridget Phillipson told Today: ‘One moment Rishi Sunak is telling us he will lead a Government of integrity, and then another minute he’s appointing someone back into the Cabinet who’d been sacked only the week before for a serious breach of security and a potential breach of the ministerial code.

‘It was a grubby deal that he struck in order to get over the line and become Prime Minister.

Ms Braverman (pictured today)  returned to the Home Office yesterday just just six days after quitting for breaching the ministerial code by emailing Cabinet documents to a backbench supporter.

Reports suggest that Mr Sunak agreed to put her back in her old job under a weekend agreement in which she agreed to back his leadership bid.

Shadow education secretary Bridget Phillipson told Today: ‘It was a grubby deal that he struck in order to get over the line and become Prime Minister’

‘We end up in this bizarre position where all we’re talking about is what’s right for the Conservative Party and how they keep themselves united.

‘I want us to be thinking about how we deliver a better Britain for the country. This should be about the future of our country, not the future of the Conservative Party.’

Mr Sunak appointed Mrs Braverman back to her former job as the new Prime Minister carried out a reshuffle of Government ranks on entering No10.

She replaces Grant Shapps, who had filled the role for the six days Mrs Braverman was away from the Home Office.

It means Mr Shapps now holds the unenviable record – previously held by Mrs Braverman when her first 43-day spell in the role ended in disgrace – as the shortest-serving Home Secretary in modern political history.

Mrs Braverman’s return to the job of Home Secretary will be viewed as part of Mr Sunak’s efforts to woo the Tories’ right-wing as he bids to reunite the party.

She is popular among Conservative eurosceptics and was among the Brexiteer ‘Spartans’ who held out against Theresa May’s Brexit deal in 2019.

The 42-year-old holds a hardline stance on immigration and recently said it was her ‘dream’ to have a flight take off to Rwanda as part of the Government’s plans to send illegal migrants to the country.

Mrs Braverman has also spoken out on transgender issues and recently launched an attack on ‘the Guardian-reading, tofu-eating wokerati’ as she defended proposals to crackdown on environmental protests that have caused recent disruption.

Mr Cleverly was asked this morning about Mr Sunak’s claim yesterday that his government would have ‘integrity, professionalism and accountability’.

Asked if Ms Braverman displayed these things, he said: ‘So yes, by saying that she made a mistake, by apologising for that mistake, for standing down, she did.

‘The Prime Minister has taken her apology and he has decided that what he wants is an experienced Home Secretary that has got recent – very, very recent – experience at the Home Office.’

The Liberal Democrats have called for a Cabinet Office probe into the return of Suella Braverman as Home Secretary after she was sacked for breaching the ministerial code.

Lib Dem home affairs spokesperson Alistair Carmichael said: ‘Suella Braverman’s appointment makes a mockery of Rishi Sunak’s claims to be bringing integrity to Number 10.

‘There must be a full independent inquiry by the Cabinet Office into her appointment, including any promises Sunak made to her behind closed doors.

‘If it is confirmed that Suella Braverman repeatedly broke the ministerial code and threatened national security, she must be sacked.

‘A Home Secretary who broke the rules is not fit for a Home Office which keeps the rules.’

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