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From Boris to Braverman suspicion is growing about a Whitehall plot to take out Brexiteers

NewsFrom Boris to Braverman suspicion is growing about a Whitehall plot to take out Brexiteers

When Dominic Raab was forced to quit as Justice Secretary and Deputy Prime Minister a few weeks ago, I received a call from a Conservative MP asking: “Who are the blob going to take out next?”

We had a quick look through the current cabinet and the answer was: “Obviously Suella [Braverman].”

The MP said: “She’s the only one left with a backbone and the only one left who was a serious Brexiteer not a sellout.”

Sure enough, this weekend the leak intended to force a minister to resign has arrived that Ms Braverman may or may not have asked for advice on how to deal with a speeding ticket.

There is quite a trail emerging.

READ MORE: Sophy Ridge speechless after Therese Coffey ignores Braverman speeding questions

First there were the attempts to neutralize Priti Patel when she was Home Secretary in a department that opposed her efforts to “take back control” of our borders. Ms Braverman is finding similar problems now.

In Patel’s case her permanent secretary Philip Rutman quit claiming he was being bullied. This at a time when she was getting frustrated over leaks from the Home Office.

She survived in office because Boris Johnson – unlike Rishi Sunak with Raab – stuck by her but it certainly made it difficult for her to push through reforms needed.

Worse still was even an unsubstantiated claim knocking around that senior civil servants had placed somebody in her staff “to spy on her”.

There is no proof this was true but the fact it was even considered to be possible was more indicative of the atmosphere of suspicion within Whitehall.

But then we move on to Boris Johnson, the man who won the 2016 referendum, who, of course, was eventually forced out, after a series of Whitehall leaks about Partygate.

What finally did for him was a former top mandarin, Sir Simon McDonald, part of the blob, coming out and claiming he had warned Mr Johnson about the behaviour of Chris Pincher.

As the leadership election got underway another Brexiteer Nadhim Zahawi was seen as a strong contender. Cue Whitehall leak about his tax affairs.

Then there were the bullying allegations against Raab which were mostly dismissed and in a grey area at best where they were not. These originated from a coordinated effort in Whitehall.

Now we have the leak on the last remaining rightwinger and conviction Brexiteer in the cabinet Suella Braverman.

One Tory MP said to me today: “This is not a coincidence. They are taking them out one by one.”

Another former minister claimed: “The blob (Whitehall civil service) want Labour back in, they are getting ready for that and doing what they can to take out Brexiteers.”

This could all be put down to suspicion and conspiracy theories from a group of MPs who feel increasingly under siege not least in the polls.

But a former Whitehall insider who has not long resigned appeared to confirm the suspicions.

The ex-bureaucrat said: “They [civil servants] hate Brexiteers and they loath Tories.

“Those of us who supported Brexit had to hide it from our colleagues for fear of being disciplined or not promoted.

“When they recruited for the new Dexeu (Brexit) Department and Department of International Trade they filled them with a group of Remainers who openly talked about trying to stop Brexit.

“I have sat in meetings with senior officials and diplomats who have openly mocked government ministers to representatives from outside Whitehall and other countries.

“They all read the Guardian like an in-house magazine and there is no doubt in my mind that they want a Labour government.

“The idea that the civil service is politically neutral is just a lie and I am convinced that there has been an attempt to take out ministers.”

This could be the reflections of an angry ex-employee of the civil service but there is more.

Express.co.uk has reported on a case of another ex-official who is suing the government after he claims he was framed for leaking information about former US ambassador Lord Darroch.

The awful series of events which started with 14 counter terrorism officers breaking into his home, dragging him from his bed while he was recovering from cancer surgery and ended up with him trying to commit suicide.

Why does he think he was framed? Because he was considered to be “a rightwing Brexiteer”.

This will have to play out in court behind closed doors, but it is noticeable that the efforts to punish someone for leaking about Kim Darroch have not been made to hunt down those who leaked about ministers.

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