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Who would replace Suella Braverman? Latest odds as Rishi Sunak ponders home secretary’s future

Home secretary Suella Braverman has come under pressure after accusations she broke ministerial code  (PA Wire)
Home secretary Suella Braverman has come under pressure after accusations she broke ministerial code (PA Wire)

Rishi Sunak is reportedly mulling over what action to take after Suella Braverman allegedly asked civil servants to help her swerve a speed awareness course.

On Tuesday, former Tory leader William Hague said he thought the prime minister should give his home secretary “a rap on the knuckles” but nothing worse after the incident.

Ms Braverman has been in Mr Sunak’s inner circle since he took office last year and has made headlines with her comments about migration. But she has not, until now, given her boss cause to ponder taking disciplinary action.

What are the claims Suella Braverman is facing?

The home secretary has been accused of breaching the ministerial code by asking taxpayer-funded civil servants to assist with something non-work related.

That private matter is said to be asking her civil servants about arranging a speeding course to avoid three points on her licence and a fine.

The prime minister is reportedly now looking at emails in which officials raised concerns about the cabinet minister’s request for help last autumn to arrange a private speed awareness course for her.

What could happen next?

Mr Sunak has spoken to Ms Braverman and his ethics adviser Sir Laurie Magnus about the speeding case and her allegedly asking civil servants to get involved.

He was chairing the cabinet meeting on Tuesday morning and was yet to announce a decision on whether to ask Sir Laurie, the PM’s independent adviser on ministers’ interest, to investigate the matter or not.

There has been a mixed reception as to whether Ms Braverman will walk - although, at the time of writing, there is no suggestion this will happen.

On Times Radio, Lord Hague said: “Does anything about that merit actually dismissing the Home Secretary from her job?

“I don’t know anything that has been going on internally in the Government.

“But my instinct would be this is a matter for a rap over the knuckles rather than a dismissal.”

Labour MP Jess Phillips tweeted: “Why doesn’t Sunak just sack her, she has little support, she’s useless at her job, she is so poorly prepared and doesn’t know the basics, she’s a terrible media performer and she is in constant scandal. What’s the upside?”

Who could replace Suella Braverman?

There is no suggestion that Ms Braverman will exit her role as home secretary but bookmakers are offering odds nonetheless. Paddy Power is offering gamblers odds of her leaving in 2023 at 1/3 or 2024 or later at 2/1.

As for her replacement, Paddy Power has given the following probabilities:

Kemi Badenoch

The business secretary stood for Tory leadership last year and, like Ms Braverman, enjoys a powerbase on the right of the Conservative Party. She is currently visiting the Gulf states to try and secure a trade deal. Latest Odds: 4/7

Penny Mordaunt

Another former leadership hopeful, the leader of the House of Commons has not commented on Ms Braverman’s speeding ticket but the pair have previously clashed. In July of last year, the home secretary branded her as “too woke” to become party leader. Latest Odds: 16/1

Grant Shapps 5/2

The ex-transport secretary became secretary of state for energy security and net zero in January. He had previously replaced Ms Braverman as home secretary last year under the short-lived Liz Truss administration. Latest Odds: 5/2

Michael Gove

A now veteran cabinet member, Mr Gove is secretary for levelling up. He has aimed thinly veiled criticism at Ms Braverman last week, saying the Tories would not win an election unless the party could find “gentleness and stability and discourse”. He spoke after Ms Braverman had vented frustration at “political correctness”. Latest Odds: 8/1

Oliver Dowden

The deputy prime minister is a long shot for the role of home secretary but does share Ms Braverman’s antipathy for what he calls “woke” culture. He has, however, only recently taken his current role after the departure of Dominic Raab. Latest Odds: 25/1