The Home Office has just published a letter from beleaguered Home Secretary Suella Braverman to the Home Affairs Select Committee. She sets out a timetable of exactly what happened that morning, which Guido has summarised below:
04:00–06:40: Suella attends National Crime Agency raid
07:25: In the car journey back, Suella tries to send a draft copy of the Written Ministerial Statement to John Hayes from her personal email account. She intended to CC his secretary, but sent it to the wrong email address.
10:02: After receiving a reply saying the message had been an error, Suella responded “Please can you delete the message and ignore. Thanks”
11.33: Andrew Percy replies to Braverman on behalf of his staffer, telling the Home Secretary, “Simply asking my team to delete this email and ignore it is not an acceptable response to what appears, on the face of it, to be a potentially serious breach of security. I am considering a point of order on this issue…”
11:50: Suella meets the Chief Whip and Andrew Percy, “by coincidence”, who confirmed the email had been received by a member of his staff. Suella acknowledged that sending the document from her personal email was a mistake and that sharing the whole document was “not the right approach”.
c.12:00: Suella informs her SpAd to report the breach immediately.
12.56: Suella emails all the relevant emails to her Private Secretary
14:00: Suella meets with Simon Case in her parliamentary office
14:45: Suella meets the Prime Minister and resigns.
Percy’s full reply is damning:
I am really not sure that government documents should be being shared with members of your former campaign team via gmail.
Can you tell me what the Ministerial Code says on this and what the processes are in the Home Office for the sharing of sensitive government documents via gmail.
Simply asking my team to delete this email and ignore it is not an acceptable response to what appears, on the face of it, to be a potentially serious breach of security.
I am considering a point of order on this issue and have raised it with the Chief Whip.
I hope an explanation will be forthcoming. You are nominally in charge of the security of this nation, we have received many warnings even as lowly backbenchers about cyber security. Andrew Percy.”
Braverman’s resignation letter claimed “as soon as I realised my mistake, I rapidly reported this on official channels and informed the Cabinet Secretary.” The timetable between realising the error (10.02) and informing official channels (12.56) raises big questions about this claim…
Suella also admits to having sent documents from her personal email on six separate further occasions:
Co-conspirators can read the full document here…