Politics

Exclusive: Suella Braverman claims to have contributed to a legal textbook. The author says she didn't.

The book's author says Braverman made "no written or editorial contribution", and simply did some photocopying

Suella Braverman

Braverman's profile has been deleted - but the Home Secretary has not answered questions about her contribution. Image: Number 10/flickr

Claims by new Home Secretary Suella Braverman that she “contributed” to a legal textbook have been rubbished by the book’s author – who says she merely did some photocopying for him.

Braverman’s profile on the website of No5, a leading barristers’ chambers where she worked before becoming an MP, claims she was “a contributor” to the 2007 textbook Gambling for Local Authorities, Licensing, Planning and Regeneration.

But the book’s author, Philip Kolvin KC, told the Big Issue Braverman “did not make a written or editorial contribution to the book”.

Kolvin added: “However on one occasion I asked her to do some photocopying for the book, which she did.”

Profiles on the No5 website outline barristers’ accomplishments and are submitted by the individuals concerned. Many are self employed, with the chambers the rooms they use while working. 

Both Braverman’s parliamentary office and the Home Office declined to comment when approached by the Big Issue. 

No5 also declined to comment on the record, but the entire contents of Braverman’s profile has since been removed from the website. Staff at the chambers said she asked them to remove the profile after the Big Issue made contact about the claim but a copy of the web page is still available online through the Internet Archive.

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Suella Braverman
Braverman’s regulatory and licensing profile on the No5 chambers website, before it was edited. Highlighting added by the Big Issue. Image: Screenshot

Braverman, appointed home secretary by new Prime Minister Liz Truss, was a pupil in chambers when the book was published, just two years after she qualified as a lawyer.

Her profile on the No5 website detailed her experience in personal injury claims, including in “fraudulent claims and staged accidents”, as well as in planning and environmental law. It referred to her as “The Rt Hon Suella Braverman QC MP” – a title she only gained after her election to parliament in the 2015 election.

But it is in the regulatory section of her profile that she claims to have been a contributor to Kolvin’s book, which includes chapters from a number of leading lawyers and was published by the Institute of Licensing.

The question of Braverman’s involvement in the book had previously been raised in 2020 by Private Eye and the Guardian, who noted her name did not appear anywhere in its pages.

It mirrors the case of fellow Tory MP Andrea Leadsom, who in 2016 admitted to “misleading” claims on her CV that she managed billions of pounds in funds – but in fact had no experience as an investment banker.

Suella Braverman
How Braverman’s profile appears now, with all sections of the profile removed. Image: Screenshot

Before Truss made her home secretary, Braverman was the attorney general under Boris Johnson, meaning she was in charge of giving legal advice to the government.

Issues of trust and truth in politics dogged Johnson’s premiership throughout two years of scandals, during which he was repeatedly accused of misleading parliament over a wide range of issues.

Braverman ran for the Conservative Party leadership after Johnson’s resignation, and since taking charge of the Home Office has told police to stop “symbolic gestures” and called one force out for “policing pronouns.”

The revelation comes as the party congregates in Birmingham for its annual conference facing questions over Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng’s handling of the economy.

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Shami Chakrabarti, who was shadow attorney general until 2020 and now sits in the House of Lords as a Labour peer, told the Big Issue: “Every day thousands of desperate refugees are disbelieved by a brutal Home Office.

“And millions of people in the global south are denied Covid 19 vaccines because of the greedy assertion of intellectual property rights by this government and its friends in big pharma. 

“So in the light of Mr Kolvin’s allegations, the new home secretary might be wise to check her records of her contribution to his book or urgently amend her CV.”

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