Category Archives: Confidentiality

Braverman has been using her private email for official papers ‘on an industrial scale’

Email a mess: this is not Suella Braverman, but considering her history of social media ineptitude, it might as well be.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman has admitted habitually breaking government rules by sending official documents to her private email address – and possibly on from there.

During her first period as Home Secretary, she sent government documents to her personal email address six times (in addition to the security breach that led to her resignation. That’s once every week during the 43 days she was in the post.

In a letter referring to the original breach of confidence, Braverman insisted there was no market sensitive or top secret information in the email she sent to Tory MP Sir John Hayes – that was also sent to an employee of fellow Tory MP Andrew Percy by mistake.

She reiterated her version of events after the offending email was sent – a timeline that conflicts with one that has been sent to the BBC.

And she said she apologised again for the breach when Rishi Sunak reappointed her Home Secretary, assuring him she would not use her personal email for official purposes and reaffirming her understanding of and adherence to the Ministerial Code.

How are we to believe that when the same letter admits she broke the rules six more times – as listed here?

She said using her personal phone this way – apparently the intention was to use the private phone to read documents while attending meetings on her official phone – was “reasonable in the circumstances and carried out in the public interest to enable me to do my job”.

And she insisted that she had acted “in accordance” with the official guidelines on ministerial email use.

It’s true that the High Court has ruled that the use of private email addresses, while controversial, is not against the law.

But handing confidential documents out to people who should not receive them is against the Ministerial Code and this excuse should not save her.

Braverman was set to give a statement on her other glaring cock-up (so far) – the scandal of the overcrowded migrant processing centre at Manston in Kent – late on Monday afternoon (October 31).

She was not expected to comment on the email scandal but may be questioned on it. This Writer wonders whether she’ll crack under the pressure.

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If Suella Braverman delayed acting on her confidentiality breach, is she in big trouble – or Rishi Sunak?

Suella Braverman and Rishi Sunak: he thought the economy would be his biggest problem but instead, she is.

It’s looking bad for Suella Braverman – despite all the good words put in for her by Rishi Sunak and Michael Gove and whoever else.

The BBC has seen an email sent from Braverman’s personal account on the day she had to resign for sending confidential information to the wrong person from her personal account.

In this email, she appears to tell the recipient of that message to “delete and ignore” it.

Braverman has said, according to the BBC,

“As soon as I realised my mistake I rapidly reported this on official channels.”

But if she emailed someone else before reporting it, then this is not true. Indeed, the BBC reckons she delayed taking any official action for several hours.

Fellow Cabinet minister, the Levelling Up secretary Michael Gove, told the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg that asking the recipient to delete and ignore the email was “quite proper” and “standard practice”, and that it would be inappropriate to “rush to judgement”.

His words ring false.

It might be “proper” and “standard” to tell the wrong recipient of confidential information to delete and ignore it, but in a situation in which the sender has delayed alerting the authorities for more than four hours, This Writer (for one) thinks it is entirely appropriate to form a judgement.

It seems clear that an inquiry is now urgently required, and Braverman should be relieved of her duties as Home Secretary while it takes place.

But Sunak is unsafe whatever he does.

The circumstances may persuade her supporters in the far-right ERG (European Research Group) wing of the Conservative Party that it is impossible to keep Braverman – which might be something that Sunak would appreciate.

Let’s face it, the ERG members are all somewhat extreme, and losing their representative in the Cabinet makes Sunak’s government look more reasonable.

But it seems likely that someone deliberately handed the BBC the damning email, which suggests a plan to discredit Braverman and have her ejected from the Cabinet. That would upset the other ERG members and could destabilise Sunak’s government.

Whatever happens, ERG members – including Braverman – will want to know how the evidence against her came to light and will want revenge.

It seems clear that someone is storing up problems for Sunak to face in the future – no matter what he does.

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Tory government suppressed hacking of Liz Truss’s phone, it’s claimed – to protect Braverman?

Hacked: the photo is a mock-up – but it’s indicative of her communication skills that she was reckoned not to be able even to hold a phone properly.

Information is valuable – depending on the timing of its release.

Take the claim that Liz Truss had such poor security, as Foreign Secretary, that her phone was hacked around April and hundreds of confidential documents were copied from it – including information about the war in Ukraine and political conversations with Kwasi Kwarteng.

It is being said that the facts were known over the summer but were prevented from becoming public knowledge by Boris Johnson and Cabinet Secretary Simon Case. Why?

Was it to protect Truss while she was making her bid to become prime minister?

That would be corruption of a very high order and all those involved should be punished – if the corrupt UK legal system defines a crime that covers it.

Some details are on the BBC website here – and this is how I found out: I discovered them on Twitter (I was at a family function and not at my desk):

But let’s get back to timing. Why are we learning about this now? Could it be because Home Secretary Suella Braverman is in trouble, after being reappointed to her job despite revelations of multiple security breaches from her own phone?

Some certainly think so…

But these are two very similar stories. Why not combine them and reach the obvious conclusion?

And what do you think that conclusion is?

It’s that Conservative ministers leak like sieves and shouldn’t be anywhere near confidential information. Right?

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What on Earth is ‘Security Risk Suella’ Braverman doing back in the Cabinet?

Suella Braverman: by her own admission, she is a risk to the security of the United Kingdom. So doesn’t it undermine Rishi Sunak’s claim to be putting “integrity and accountability” back into government for her to be re-appointed as Home Secretary?

One of the most vicious right-wingers in Rishi Sunak’s new Cabinet may find her tenure cut short before she’s had a chance to start – because of her own decisions.

Suella Braverman only quit the role of Home Secretary last week – most probably in order to attack Liz Truss in her resignation letter – but was re-appointed to the job by new prime minister Rishi Sunak yesterday.

The pretext for her resignation was a breach of the ministerial code in which she was said to have sent classified documents from her personal email.

Now this has come back to haunt her, because Labour has joined the Liberal Democrats in demanding an inquiry into whether she is an ongoing security risk and her appointment makes a mockery of Sunak’s claim to be putting “integrity and accountability” back into government.

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper criticised the appointment yesterday (October 25), accusing Sunak of putting “party before country” and tweeting, “Security is too important for this irresponsible Tory chaos.”

She expanded on this in a letter to Cabinet Secretary Simon Case, calling for an urgent probe into “this and other possible security breaches”.

She added that “the public has a right to know that there are proper secure information procedures in place to cover the person who has been given charge of our national security”.

In her resignation letter last week, Braverman acknowledged the mistake, calling it a “technical infringement” and adding that much of the content in the document she emailed had already been briefed to MPs.

The claim to be putting “party before country” is justified because Braverman is from the extreme right wing of the Conservative Party. Not a natural Sunak supporter, she only announced she was backing him late on Sunday, when it became clear that Boris Johnson would not be standing as a candidate in the Tory leadership contest.

Her appointment is therefore seen as an attempt by Sunak to win support from all wings of his party. It also trumpets an intention to take a hard line on immigration by reappointing the minister who previously said it was her “dream” to see Rwanda deportation flights take off, and expressed a desire to act tough on small refugee boats crossing the English Channel.

Liberal Democrat 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.”

He said Braverman should be sacked if it is confirmed that she “repeatedly broke the ministerial code and threatened national security”.

Her reappointment has also sparked outrage among the commentatorati, including the following from Russell Kane, which I recommend you don’t watch if you are offended by extremely strong language:

Alternatively, try this from Professor Tim Wilson who attacks Braverman’s politics, comparing Suella Braverman’s dream of “misery, contempt and insanity” with Martin Luther King’s dream of “optimism”:

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, insisted Braverman had shown integrity by apologising for breaking the rules. He said Sunak had accepted her apology and chose to re-appoint her because she had “very, very recent” experience of the Home Office.

“Clearly the PM wants to make sure that the department can deliver from day one.”

But he didn’t sound very convincing.

It is hard to defend a minister whose brief is to focus on crime when she only admitted committing one herself – last week. Let’s look forward to watching Sunak make a stab at it in Prime Minister’s Questions.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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