British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak sacked his interior minister Suella Braverman on Monday after her criticism of the police’s handling of a pro-Palestinian march divided his party and threatened his own authority.
Under fire from opposition lawmakers and members of the governing Conservative Party to eject Braverman, Sunak seemed to have brought forward a long-planned reshuffle to bring in allies and remove ministers he felt were not performing.
The ever-controversial Braverman defied Sunak last week in an unauthorised article accusing police of “double standards” at protests, suggesting they were tough on right-wing demonstrators, but easy on pro-Palestinian marchers.
The opposition Labour Party said that inflamed frictions between a pro-Palestinian demonstration and a far-right counter protest on Saturday, when nearly 150 people were arrested
Rishi Sunak has asked Suella Braverman to leave government and she has accepted,” a government source said.
CAMERON TO FOREIGN OFFICE?
She was replaced by foreign minister James Cleverly, who was seen walking up to Sunak’s Downing Street office on Monday.
In what would be a surprise move, the Telegraph newspaper reported that former Prime Minister David Cameron was being made foreign minister.
Braverman’s removal will anger some Conservatives on the right of the party, who believe her criticism of the police was justified, and Sunak may try to keep them on board by suggesting that it was her language not her points that were wrong.
The move comes just days before the government and the interior ministry find out whether they have succeeded in one of their key policy areas – winning a legal battle at the Supreme Court to be able to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda.
Sunak is expected to carry out a wider number of changes in his cabinet, bringing in allies and removing some ministers who his Downing Street office say have not been performing as well as he wanted in their departments.