Michael Gove has said Suella Braverman is “absolutely” a politician of integrity as he defended Rishi Sunak for reappointing her amid continuing concerns over her conduct.

The Levelling Up Secretary's comments came as Ms Braverman was today accused of failing to act on legal advice that the government was illegally detaining thousands of asylum seekers.

The Home Secretary - who clashed with Liz Truss over plans to relax immigration rules - was sacked by the former PM for a breach of the ministerial code after she emailed backbench colleague Sir John Hayes, a draft ministerial statement detailing the policy.

However, she also accidentally sent it to a member of another Tory MP who shares his name.  The email was reported to the chief whip, who went straight to No 10.

Downing Street said the Home Secretary had committed two breaches of the ministerial code, firstly by sharing details of the policy before it had been formally signed off, and by sharing it using a private email.

But new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak reappointed Ms Braverman to the role of Home Secretary last week, just six days after she was sacked.

Cabinet minister Michael Gove today defended the Home Secretary and the PM's decision to reappoint her as Labour questioned whether she had reported the error 'straight away' as she said she had.

Asked if Ms Braverman is a politician of integrity, Mr Gove said: “Absolutely. “I am satisfied, more than satisfied, that in resigning, accepting responsibility, apologising, and then in being assured by the Cabinet Secretary and the Prime Minister that Suella coming back into office was the right thing, that Suella is now in a position to do the work that she is dedicated to doing.”

Mr Gove added that Ms Braverman is facing opposition because she is “brave” and “making changes”, and he rejected calls to publish documents related to her security breach.

“It is always the case of any politician like Suella who is brave and who’s making changes… will inevitably face some opposition,” the Cabinet minister told the BBC’s Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg programme.

“You only take flak if you’re over the target.”

On the attention on the matter, the former journalist said: “It becomes a distraction if people are asking these questions.”

Asked about Labour’s demands that the Government releases information about the chain of events, Mr Gove said: “When you are dealing with national security measures, then it will often be the case that there is information that you cannot share because that might compromise national security, or the effective operation of government.

“I also critically want to ensure that what we don’t do is on the basis of the imperfect information that is in the public domain, rush to judgment in a way that would seem to me to be inappropriate.”

Labour has stepped up its attack on the Home Secretary with the party insisting she is not trusted by the security services.

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper told Sky News’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme: “We have to have proper answers about whether or not this was the first security breach from Suella Braverman.

“We think that the papers and the warnings that were provided by the Cabinet Office and by the Cabinet Secretary to the Prime Minister should be sent to the Intelligence and Security Committee.

“So far, we’ve been asking repeatedly whether the Home Secretary has used her personal phone to send other Government documents.

"There’s also questions about whether she was investigated for other security leaks, including around a case involving security service, and around a case involving sensitive legal advice around Northern Ireland.

“Now, this is just irresponsible. You can’t have a Home Secretary who is not trusted by the security service, who is not trusted with important Government information. And it really shows the huge error of judgment that Rishi Sunak has made in reappointing someone just six days after she broke the ministerial code over security lapses, reappointing her to this immensely serious position.”

Meanwhile, Ms Braverman has today been accused of failing to act on legal advice that the government was illegally detaining thousands of asylum seekers.

The Home Secretary received advice at least three weeks ago warning that migrants were being detained for unlawfully long periods at the Manston asylum processing centre in Ramsgate, Kent, the Sunday Times is reporting.

According to five sources, Braverman, 42, was also told that the legal breach needed to be resolved urgently by rehousing the asylum seekers in alternative accommodation.

Asylum seekers are meant to be in Manston, a short-term holding facility, for no more than 24 hours while they undergo checks before being moved into immigration detention centres or asylum accommodation.

But of the 2,600 migrants at the site — which was designed to hold a maximum of 1,600 — some, including families, have been held there for up to four weeks.

The majority are believed to have arrived on the south coast after crossing the Channel in small boats in recent weeks. The centre is now dealing with outbreaks of diphtheria and scabies, with staff at the site also reporting outbreaks of violence as tensions have mounted over the overcrowded conditions.

David Neal, the independent chief inspector of borders and immigration, told MPs on the home affairs select committee he was left shocked by the “wretched conditions” migrants were being kept in after he visited the centre.

In claims fiercely disputed by the Home Secretary, it is alleged that after receiving legal advice about Manston, she refused to solve the problem by securing new hotels for the asylum seekers to be transferred to.

Enver Solomon, the chief executive of the Refugee Council, said the problems experienced at Manston formed part of wider failure to prepare for another record year of migrant crossings.

So far this year more than 38,000 have crossed the Channel. There is also a mounting backlog of 100,000 asylum claims, with the average case now taking 480 days to process.

It was also claimed Braverman, a former attorney general, had “deliberately” chosen not to sign off enough hotels in an attempt to reduce the £6.8 million a day bill being paid by the government to house asylum seekers.

However, the Home Office, after declining to comment on the allegation originally, subsequently claimed on Saturday evening that it had done so on three occasions during this period.

Following Braverman’s sacking by Truss for breaking the ministerial code, her immediate successor, Grant Shapps, began procuring hotels. He was updated on what a source said had by that point become a “screaming problem”.

Speaking the the BBC today Mt Gove said Ms Braverman "did not ignore or dismiss" legal advice.

But he acknowledged the situation at Manston "is not perfect", adding: "It's absolutely vital that we process people as quickly as possible and keep them in humane conditions".