Suella Braverman has resigned as Home Secretary, after sending an official Home Office document to a backbench MP.
She was only appointed 43 days ago by Liz Truss, but resigned today (19 October) during a meeting with the Prime Minister. Posting her resignation letter on Twitter, Braverman revealed the reason for her departure was a “mistake” she had made. She said she “sent an official document from [her] personal email to a trusted parliamentary colleague,” which constitutes a “technical infringement of the rules.”
The now ex-Home Secretary said the documentation was due for publication imminently, but “nevertheless it is right for me to go. As soon as I realised my mistake, I rapidly reported this on official channels, and informed the Cabinet Secretary”. She continued, in what some have interpreted as a comment aimed at her boss, by saying: “The business of government relies upon people accepting responsibility for their mistakes. Pretending we haven’t made mistakes, carrying on as if everyone can’t see that we have made them, and hoping that things will magically come right is not serious politics. I have made a mistake; I accept responsibility; I resign.”
In addition to the more veiled criticism, the Fareham MP also made sure she dealt a blatant blow to Truss’ precarious administration. She claimed she has “concerns about the direction of this government,” writing, “not only have we broken key pledges that were promised to our voters, but I have had serious concerns about this government’s commitment to honouring manifesto commitments, such as reducing overall migration numbers and stopping illegal migration, particularly the dangerous small boats crossings.”
The Prime Minister was criticised earlier today when she pulled out of a scheduled official visit to a factory, with many believing the last-minute cancellation was a desperate attempt to avoid media scrutiny. But it seems that Truss was preoccupied with the latest reshuffle of her Cabinet.
Braverman’s departure comes after the Prime Minister sacked Kwasi Kwarteng as Chancellor last Friday (14 October), replacing him with Jeremy Hunt, amidst desperate attempts to save her premiership. It has already been a particularly turbulent week for the government, after “almost all” of the tax cuts in the mini budget were scrapped, and calls are growing for Truss to resign as Prime Minister.
The former Home Secretary has been making headlines over the past couple days, as she took aim at protesters, such as Just Stop Oil and Insulate Britain, during a debate in the House of Commons. She declared: “It’s the Guardian-reading, tofu-eating wokerati, dare I say, the anti-growth coalition that we have to thank for the disruption that we are seeing on our roads today.”
She made sure to take aim at these groups - as well as the government’s immigration policy - even in her resignation letter, writing: “The British people deserve policing they can respect, an immigration policy they want and voted for in such unambiguous numbers at the last election, and laws which serve the public good, and not the interests of selfish protesters.”
Braverman said it had been a “great honour” to serve in the Home Office, and ended her resignation statement by wishing her successor good luck in the role.
It has now been confirmed by Downing Street that former Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has taken over the role. It marks another move away from Truss filling her cabinet with loyalists, with Shapps previously backing Rishi Sunak in the leadership contest.
Speaking to reporters outside Downing Street following his appointment, Shapps said: “Obviously it has been a turbulent time for the Government. But the most important thing is to make sure the people of this country know they’ve got security. That’s why it’s a great honour to be appointed as Home Secretary today.
“I’m looking forward to getting stuck into the role providing the security the British people need regardless of what’s happening otherwise in Westminster. So I’m looking forward to getting on with the job.”