HARRIET LINE: Suella Braverman's rift with Downing Street
HARRIET LINE: Is Suella Braverman’s rift with Downing Street over migration the reason for the leaking of her speeding offence?
The Home Secretary’s hardline stance on immigration has made her as many enemies as admirers, and some now believe it may have triggered the leaking of her speeding offence.
Just last week Suella Braverman highlighted divisions in the Cabinet when she piled pressure on the Prime Minister to reduce net migration.
She said more Britons should be trained to be lorry drivers and fruit pickers to plug demand – before Rishi Sunak made clear to farmers that more seasonal fruit pickers will be allowed into the UK if needed.
The timing of the leak is curious and the Home Secretary’s allies are pointing many fingers as to the source. Some blame ‘The Blob’, which has already claimed the scalps of ministers including Dominic Raab.
But others now wonder if her recent comments have wound up No 10 so much that the leak could have originated from Downing Street itself – in perhaps a calculated attempt to put a stop to her immigration battle.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman’s hardline stance on immigration has made her as many enemies as admirers, and some now believe it may have triggered the leaking of her speeding offence
‘The timing of the whole thing makes me think she is being undermined, possibly within her department – or equally possibly by No 10,’ one MP told the Mail.
‘She has been less than helpful to the powers that be over the last couple of weeks and it looks like they are getting their own back.’ Another senior MP – who branded the story ‘an extraordinary storm in a teacup’ – said: ‘It can only have come from the civil service or the police, and you have to ask the question ‘which?’.’
Tory backbencher Miriam Cates also expressed concern that the leak is ‘a concerted effort to discredit’ Mrs Braverman, adding: ‘It is no coincidence that it’s in the same week that she had been very vocal about the need to put proper limits on legal migration which is clearly a contentious issue.’
However a No 10 source hit back last night, saying the Prime Minister is still ‘establishing the facts… to understand the circumstances’.
Although some allies have questioned her judgment, ex-Cabinet minister Jacob Rees-Mogg said: ‘Sometimes [ministers] will ask for something that civil servants can’t do. As long as – once they’ve said no – you accept it, then you haven’t done anything wrong.’
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