Suella Braverman has refused to be drawn over whether she asked civil servants to arrange a speeding course for her, but said she is “confident nothing untoward happened”.
The home secretary was caught speeding in 2022 and asked the civil service for advice on arranging a private speed awareness course.
A government source denied her actions broke the ministerial code.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has asked his ethics adviser about the case.
The home secretary is under scrutiny not over the speeding offence itself, but over whether she acted properly in relation to the civil service over the one-to-one speed awareness course.
After being caught speeding, Ms Braverman faced getting three points on her licence and a fine, or a course as part of a group.
A government source told the BBC the senior minister had been “concerned” about her insurance premiums, and favoured doing a course.
Mrs Braverman asked civil servants about a one-on-one course, citing security concerns about doing one as part of a group. She was told it was not a matter for the civil service.
She then asked a special adviser to try to arrange a private course.
When the speed course provider said there was no option to do this, Mrs Braverman opted to pay the fine and accept the points, because she was “very busy” a source told the BBC. By this point she had been reappointed as home secretary in Mr Sunak’s government.
The same government source refused to say whether Mrs Braverman’s motivation to do the course in private was to reduce the chances of her being recognised by members of the public.
The Ministerial Code requires ministers to ensure “no conflict arises” between their public duties and their private interests.
Repeatedly asked in an interview whether she instructed officials to arrange a one-on-one speeding course, Mrs Braverman said: “Last summer, I was speeding, I regret that, I paid the fine and I took the points.”
Asked whether she would welcome an investigation into what happened or if she had spoken to the prime minister about it, Ms Braverman said: “I am focussed on working as the home secretary.”
Speaking to the Westminster Hour on BBC Radio 4, former senior civil servant Sir Philip Rycroft said Mrs Braverman’s reported actions appeared to be a “real lapse of judgement”.
“Obviously, there’s still investigations to be done and so on but the code is very clear. Ministers must ensure that no conflict arises or appears to arise between their public duties and their private interests.
“Even asking a question of a civil servant as to how she might go on one of these courses puts them in an impossible position.”
The ministerial code sets standards of conduct expected of ministers, including that they must uphold the political impartiality of the civil service.
The prime minister spoke to his ethics advisor this morning about the case.
Downing Street said the prime minister is currently gathering information, and Mr Sunak still has confidence in the home secretary.The BBC understands there is no investigation under way into the home secretary’s actions currently.
Mrs Braverman was in Downing Street on Monday lunchtime, and afterwards headed to the House of Commons for a scheduled question session from MPs on Home Office issues.
During the session, Mrs Braverman was pressed on whether she had asked civil servants to arrange a private speed awareness course. The home secretary repeated her earlier statement.
Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer said the prime minister should order his adviser, Sir Laurie Magnus, to investigate whether ministerial rules were broken.
Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Sir Keir said it looked like “inappropriate action took place” from the home secretary that “needs to be fully investigated”.
“The usual consequence of breaking the ministerial code is that you’ll go,” he added.
The Liberal Democrats are also calling for an investigation and said Mr Sunak needed to make a statement in Parliament about the claims.
“Did you have any questions about the summit?” Rishi Sunak asks the BBC’s Chris Mason
Answering questions at the G7 summit over the weekend, Mr Sunak apparently did not know anything about the story the until it was first reported in the Sunday Times. and he declined to say whether he would be ordering an investigation.
Speaking at a news conference, he also declined to say he backed Mrs Braverman – but a Downing Street source later said that “of course” he did.
“I don’t know the full details of what has happened, nor have I spoken to the home secretary,” Mr Sunak said.
“But I understand she has expressed regret for speeding, accepted the penalty and paid the fine.”
After serving as attorney general between February 2020 and September 2022, Mrs Braverman was promoted to home secretary under Liz Truss.
She resigned on 19 October after sending an official document from a personal email to a backbench MP – describing it as a “technical infringement of the rules”. But she was reappointed to the same role by Mr Sunak six days later following the collapse of Liz Truss’s government.
A source close to the home secretary said: “Mrs Braverman accepted three points for a speeding offence which took place last summer.
“The Cabinet Office was made aware of the situation as requested by Mrs Braverman. She was not and is not disqualified from driving.”
A Cabinet Office spokesman said: “It would not be appropriate to comment on the existence or content of advice between government departments.