Labour MP defends Raab over being sacked by civil servants
Two new attacks on Suella Braverman in the press this evening have sparked a war of words between Tories and the Civil Service, in an astonishing breakdown of relations.
Tonight The Guardian alleges that civil servants have had to “fact check” Suella Braverman over claims she made to Cabinet, accusing her of making “basic errors” in meetings.
The fact-checking apparently occurred on “up to six occasions” in the nine months since she became Home Secretary.
A second attack comes from the Independent, who claims Mrs Braverman failed to declare her links with Rwanda when appointed Home Secretary.
She was reportedly the director of a charity providing training to Rwandan Government lawyers for five years between 2010 and 2015, as part of the ‘Africa Justice Foundation’ – a charity founded with Cherie Blair.
Ms Braverman was not Home Secretary when Boris Johnson’s Government agreed the deportation deal with Rwanda in 2021.
Shortly before the Guardian published their story on Mrs Braverman, a Tory MP told the Express in relation to tonight’s Boris Johnson police allegations: “You don’t need an investigation to see that absolutely everything passing through the Cabinet Office or the so-called Proprietary and Ethics team about any remotely pro-Brexit politician ends up in the Guardian or the Mirror.”
Following the Guardian’s story, an MP condemned the renewed leaks, alleging them to have come from the Civil Service.
Quoting Mrs Thatcher’s infamous speech, the MP told the Express: “We are actually in quite a serious situation. This lends new potency to Mrs Thatcher’s ‘enemy within’ comments.”
A former Downing Street advisor declared: “The last vestiges of any sense of independence within the civil service have been obliterated”.
The war of words between the Tories and the Civil Service comes just hours after Boris Johnson’s office sensationally accused the Cabinet Office of “another politically motivated stitch up”.
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Mr Johnson’s office, responding to bombshell allegations in The Times that the former PM had been referred to the police over lockdown rule breaking at Chequers, said the civil service’s move “is both bizarre and unacceptable”.
“It appears some within government have decided to make unfounded suggestions both to the police and to the Privileges Committee.”
A close Boris ally told the Express: “The bias of senior civil servants is now just hiding in plain sight.”
Tory MP Paul Bristow condemned the civil service, asking “Why don’t senior civil servants spend more time helping to run the country than trying to smear Cabinet Members past and present?”
“This is serious. Everyday hardworking civil servants should not be tarred with the same brush as those who are motivated by pure party politics.
“The witch hunts have to end.”
The Telegraph was told by a Tory source this evening that Mr Sunak must get a grip of the campaign against those on the right of the Conservative party – or risk his leadership.
“There is now an open witch hunt against right wingers in the Conservative Party. The leadership of the party must shut this down immediately.
“Active conversations are underway among MPs about how to respond to this and nothing is off the table.”
A former minister told the paper: “I didn’t really believe in the ‘blob’ till now. But the events of the last few days – the repeated briefing against Suella and now tonight’s action against Boris – are beginning to make me think again”.
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