The six biggest problems facing home secretary Suella Braverman

The six biggest problems facing home secretary Suella Braverman
Suella Braverman calls 'broken' immigration system an 'invasion on southern coast'

The home secretary Suella Braverman is facing pressure to resign.

Braverman is embroiled in a number of overlapping scandals, including her lax approach to email security, and the language she uses when discussing migrants.

Allegations have emerged at pace and it can be difficult to keep up.

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So here are all the issues that could come back to haunt Braverman:

1. 'Leaky Sue'

Braverman resigned from Liz Truss's government a couple of weeks ago after she said she sent a draft statement about immigration to her ally, the MP Sir John Hayes, for advice - and accidentally copied in a staffer in the MP Andrew Percy’s office too.

To make matters worse, she sent the email from her personal account rather than her work email. In doing so, she breached the ministerial code twice.

“I have made a mistake; I accept responsibility; I resign,” she said, adding she had “serious concerns” about Truss’s commitment to the 2019 manifesto.

She said she acted "rapidly" when she learned of the mistake but sources claim it actually took hours.

Following this, fresh claims emerged that she had been involved in a leak inquiry almost a year ago.The Daily Mail reported she was probed by national security officials when she was attorney general.

Then, she admitted to using her personal email for official business six times so she could read the documents while taking work video calls.

In a letter to the home affairs committee chair, Diana Johnson, she apologised for her “errors of judgment” and said none of the six emails sent between 6 September and 10 October “concerned national security, intelligence agency or cybersecurity matters and did not pose any risk to national security”.

With all this in mind, Lib Dem leader Ed Davey alleged Braverman is known among some as "Leaky Sue" and we can think of far more flattering nicknames.

2. Resigning then returning

Consider the fact Braverman resigned seemingly of her own accord by revealing the first breaches that came to light, but despite facing far more criticism now is staying completely put.

Also consider the fact that someone can resign for breaching the ministerial code twice then be reappointed after just six days and the world of politics looks pretty murky.

3. Manston

Some 4,000 people are being held at the Manston migrant processing centre, which is only designed to accommodate 1,600 people on a temporary basis.

Migrants are only supposed to be kept there for 24 hours for security and identity checks before being moved into asylum accommodation system, which often means a hotel.

But reports have emerged about terrible conditions in Manston and there have been claims Braverman blocked the use of hotels.

Speaking in parliament, Braverman said "I have never ignored legal advice" by keeping people detained at Manston for longer than necessary and said she "never blocked" the use of hotels.

However, sources speaking to publications including the Guardian have questioned this account.

4. Her inflammatory language

Braverman went to the commons yesterday to field questions about these issues. But in doing so, she managed to sully her reputation further by likening migration into the UK to an "invasion on our Southern coasts".

"Let's stop pretending that they are all refugees in distress," she added.

"The system is broken, illegal migration is out of control."

She was criticised for her words and it is not the first time her command of language has raised eyebrows. During the Tory party conference this year she said she had an "obsession" with the controversial Rwanda scheme.

“I would love to have a front page of The Telegraph with a plane taking off to Rwanda, that’s my dream, it’s my obsession,” Braverman said.

She also went on a rant in parliament about protesters and called those involved in environmental action the "tofu-eating wokerati", whatever on Earth that means.

She said: “It’s the Labour Party, it’s the Lib Dems, it’s the coalition of chaos, it’s the Guardian-reading, tofu-eating, ‘wokerati’, dare I say the anti-growth coalition, that we have to thank for the disruption that we are seeing on our roads today.”

She may think she's whipping up support among her party but every time she opens her mouth before thinking she faces huge criticism, and any lasting hope that Sunak's government would bring a more serious tone than Boris Johnson's (or indeed Truss's) dissipates.

6. She's being repeatedly criticised

Opposition parties won't let her misdemeanors go, and even members of her own party aren't thrilled with her.

Indeed, former Tory party chairman Jake Berry went on TalkTV last week and said she was responsible for "multiple breaches of the ministerial code".

As for her record on Manston, Tory MP Sir Roger Gale told the BBC the government had made a "car crash" decision and added to Sky News that the overcrowding was "wholly unacceptable".

The MP said: “There are simply far too many people and this situation should never have been allowed to develop, and I’m not sure that it hasn’t almost been developed deliberately.”

“I do believe, whoever is responsible, either the previous Home Secretary or this one, has to be held to account because a bad decision was taken and it has led to what I would regard as a breach of humane conditions," he added.

And on her "invasion" comments Care 4 Calais said they were “incredibly offensive”. They added: “Refugees are escaping from conflicts – they know what being invaded feels like. We are lucky that many of us do not. To suggest they are committing an act of war when that is what they are fleeing is indefensible.”

With the odds stacked against her, then, how long can she cling on?

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