UK minister Braverman denies 'untoward' meddling over speeding ticket

FILE - Britain's Home Secretary Suella Braverman arrives for a Cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street in London, Tuesday, March 28, 2023. Britains interior minister Suella Bravermanon Monday brushed off reports that she tried to pull strings after getting a speeding ticket, saying nothing untoward had gone on. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File) (Kirsty Wigglesworth, Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

LONDON – Britain’s interior minister on Monday brushed off reports that she tried to pull strings after getting a speeding ticket, saying “nothing untoward” had gone on.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman said that after being caught speeding last year, she paid a fine and received demerit points on her license. Braverman was Britain’s attorney general at the time.

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The Sunday Times reported that Braverman had asked civil servants to arrange a private speed-awareness session for her, rather than the usual group course for drivers who commit minor offenses. The newspaper said civil servants refused to get involved.

Braverman declined to confirm or deny that she'd asked civil servants to intervene.

“Last summer, I was speeding. I regret that. I paid the fine and I took the points,” she said, adding that “I’m confident that nothing untoward has happened.”

Braverman is a favorite of the right wing of the governing Conservative Party who has championed the U.K.’s controversial plan to send asylum-seekers who cross the English Channel on a one-way trip to Rwanda.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is considering whether to order a formal ethics investigation. Spokesman Jamie Davies said Sunak was “availing himself of information” about the case before deciding what to do.

Sunak promised a government of “integrity, professionalism and accountability” when he took office in October after three years of tumult under predecessors Boris Johnson and Liz Truss. But he has lost several ministers to rule breaches.

Cabinet minister Gavin Williamson quit in November over bullying allegations, Conservative Party chairman Nadhim Zahawi was fired in January for failing to come clean about a tax dispute, and Dominic Raab quit as deputy prime minister last month after an investigation found he had bullied civil servants.

Sunak himself is also being investigated. A parliamentary watchdog is studying whether he properly disclosed his wife’s interest in a company that stands to benefit from a big boost to government-funded childcare.

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