Suella Braverman was back in the news over the weekend after multiple sources reported that the Home Secretary attempted to get civil servants to ‘help her out’ in avoiding a fine after she was caught speeding last year.
It’s alleged that she has broken the ministerial code (again), something that is usually a resigning matter for ministers.
The row is the latest in a long line of scandals over the last year that has seen Braverman come under fire for her inflammatory anti-immigration rhetoric, resign as Home Secretary after breaching data security rules (only to be reappointed just days later) and deliver a bizarre House of Commons speech railing against the ‘Guardian reading, tofu eating wokerati’.
Just last week she caused a stir with an eyebrow raising speech at the National Conservatism Conference with what appeared to be a thinly veiled declaration of her leadership ambitions.
Even those on the notoriously level-headed Conservative backbenches are beginning to see Leaky Sue as more trouble than she’s worth, which begs the question: Why hasn’t she been sacked?
It would appear to take a braver man than Rishi Sunak to dismiss Braverman, an influential figure on the right of the party. After swooping in amongst the chaos of Liz Truss’s 49 day premiership, Sunak inherited a divided Conservative Party that is miles behind in the polls. He remains unpopular with many of the ‘lunatic fringe’ backbenchers, some of whom still pine for the return of Boris Johnson.
A disastrous set of local election results only weakened his position further, and while the knives aren’t out yet, Sunak is on unsteady footing. Braverman is seen as a future leadership challenger and has the ear of many of the Conservative grassroots that have chosen our last two PM’s.
To sack Suella would be no great loss to the country – she’s hardly doing a sterling job – but we have a weak PM, unable to sack a threat to his authority. With ministers publicly bound by collective responsibility, it’s better to have Braverman outside the tent pissing in than inside the tent pissing out.
Public pressure may prove too much in the coming days, but for now, internal party politics trumps the good of the country, and sleazy Suella lives to fight another day.