Suella Braverman admits sending government documents to personal email on six occasions

The home secretary insisted none of the documents were marked secret or top secret. Credit: PA

Home Secretary Suella Braverman has admitted she sent government documents to her personal email on six occasions.

In a letter to the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee’s chairwoman Dame Diana Johnson, Ms Braverman gave further details of the breach of the ministerial code which triggered her resignation as home secretary under Liz Truss's premiership.

Ms Braverman said she sent the official documents from her government email to her personal address so she could refer back to them on her mobile while conducting virtual Home Office meetings on her work phone, or to take in to interviews.

She admitted to doing so on six occasions between September 6 and October 19 and only in incidents she judged as "reasonable".

"As I was joining the Home Office meetings virtually and occasionally while in transit –via MS Teams and where I would be looking into the camera and visible on screen –on my Government-issued phone, I was therefore of course unable to simultaneouslyread the necessary official documents on the same screen of the same mobile device," explained Ms Braverman in the letter.

"It was not possible to use a single device to conduct the meetings and read thedocuments at the same time. Therefore, I had occasionally and exceptionally emailedthem to my personal email account so that I could read the documents in order toconduct essential Government business."

She insisted none of the documents were classified as secret or top secret and “did not pose any risk to national safety”.

The home secretary said no one else has access to her personal email account.

She said she had apologised to Rishi Sunak when she was reappointed as home secretary when he entered No 10 and publicly repeated that apology.

“In my appointment discussion with the new Prime Minister, I raised this mistake and apologised to him, and would like to do so again here,” she said.

“I also gave the Prime Minister assurances that I would not use my personal email for official business and reaffirmed my understanding of and adherence to the Ministerial Code.”

She also insisted there was nothing market sensitive in the draft written ministerial statement (WMS) she sent from her private email address to Tory backbencher Sir John Hayes.

The home secretary said former prime minister Ms Truss had “specifically” asked her to engage with parliamentary colleagues to discuss the content of the planned WMS.

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The draft WMS consisted of “high-level proposals for liberalising our migration rules”, including “increasing the number of low-skilled foreign workers, as well as general plans for controlling illegal migration”.

Much of the document had already been briefed to MPs – including Sir John – “at the request” of Ms Truss, although Ms Braverman acknowledged that “some sentences” had not been fully agreed by all departments.

Ms Braverman is due to appear in the House of Commons later on Monday and is expected to take questions on the matter, as well as on the issues at the Manston migrant processing centre.

Home Affairs Select Committee chairwoman Dame Diana said Ms Braverman needs to come to the House of Commons to explain her position.

She told Times Radio: “I think she needs to come today to the House of Commons. I don’t think she needs to be summoned.

“I think she needs to decide she’s coming herself and she’s going to make a statement and deal with all of these issues and questions that have been rising up over the last few weeks since she was reappointed.

“She’s got to deal with this because until this is dealt with, she can’t get on and do the job of Home Secretary.”

Downing Street has said Ms Braverman did not share any market sensitive data when she breached the ministerial code and resigned as home secretary in Liz Truss’s government.

The prime minister’s official spokesman said: “My understanding is that it wasn’t in any way marked market sensitive and the data in it was publicly available.”

They added that Ms Braverman has now set out a “detailed account” of what happened and and "the mitigations that have been taken".

“Clearly, as she makes clear, she made an error of judgment, she recognises that the approach she took was not right and it is for those reasons that she felt it was right to resign, and obviously she has apologised, both to the Prime Minister, the MP involved, and she has set out a detailed letter to the committee today," the spokesman added.