British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has dismissed Suella Braverman from her role as the UK Home Secretary.
This marks the second time Braverman has been forced out of the same role in little more than a year. Previously, her resignation was ordered by Sunak’s predecessor, Liz Truss, for sending confidential information from a private email address.
Rumours suggest that Rishi Sunak’s controversial decision to reinstate Braverman just six days after her previous dismissal by Liz Truss was a move to reward her support over Boris Johnson and to appease the right-wing faction of the party. Despite her key role in delivering Sunak’s pledge to stop small boat crossings over the Channel, Braverman’s controversial actions often irked No 10.
In response to her dismissal, Suella Braverman expressed gratitude for her time as Home Secretary and hinted at more detailed comments in the future.
The current removal follows escalating tensions over Armistice Day protests.
Braverman’s dismissal follows a series of controversies. She pursued a hard-right policy agenda and made controversial statements such as describing homelessness as a “lifestyle choice.” The final incident was an unauthorised article in The Times where she alleged bias among senior police officers and likened Gaza ceasefire marches to those in Northern Ireland. The marches in Northern Ireland are mostly organised by unionists.
The article, submitted to Downing Street, faced substantial edits, but not all were implemented. Braverman was held responsible for inflaming tensions that led to clashes between far-right groups and police near the Cenotaph on Armistice Day. Some police officers revealed that Braverman’s claims of bias were a significant factor in sustained far-right attacks on the police force.
Her populist speech at the October Conservative conference attacking the “luxury beliefs” of liberal-leaning individuals prompted criticism for allegedly making her party appear “transphobic.”
Sunak’s decision paves the way for a cabinet reshuffle, with notable figures stepping into new roles.
James Cleverly, the Foreign Secretary, replaced Braverman as UK Home Secretary, according to an official announcement from No 10. The statement attributes Cleverly’s appointment to Braverman’s departure from the government. Former British Prime Minister David Cameron assumed Cleverly’s previous position as the Foreign Secretary. Environment Secretary Thérèse Coffey and Health Secretary Steve Barclay may also face replacement.
Schools Minister Nick Gibb and Health Minister Neil O’Brien have announced their resignations in the wake of the changes.
Jess Phillips, part of Labour’s shadow home affairs team, criticised Braverman as the “worst home secretary in living memory,” pointing out that she didn’t understand her role. Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey claimed Braverman was never fit for the position, attributing her appointment to the prime minister’s cowardice.
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