Suella Braverman is replaced as Home Secretary by James Cleverly in Rishi Sunak's Cabinet reshuffle
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The Prime Minister asked Braverman to leave the government this morning and she has accepted, the BBC reported. The Conservative Party said this was part of a ministerial reshuffle as Sunak “strengthens his team in government to deliver long-term decisions for a brighter future".
It is understood Rishi Sunak called the former Home Secretary this morning to inform her of his decision to sack her. So far the pair have not done the customary exchange of letters which is common for most ministerial changes.
Foreign Secretary James Cleverly has replaced her as Home Secretary, former Prime Minister David Cameron has made a sensational return to politics to head up the Foreign Office. This means there are four men in the great offices of state, with an unelected Prime Minister making an unelected peer the Foreign Secretary.
The reshuffle came after Braverman wrote an unauthorised article in the Times saying the police force was "playing favourites" by not blocking the Armistice Day march arranged by who she termed "pro-Palestinian mobs". This drew condemnation from senior policing figures, such as former chief inspector of constabulary Sir Tom Winsor, who said Braverman’s comment “crosses the line” by breaking the convention that a Home Secretary should not question the operational integrity of the police.
On Saturday, there were violent scenes as far-right mobs stormed the Cenotaph with Met Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Matt Twist saying "a week of intense debate about protest and policing" combined with the geo-political backdrop to "increase community tensions", with Labour saying Braverman inflamed the situation.
The Prime Minister "believes collective responsibility is a very important principle", his press secretary said when asked about Braverman. Sunak's press secretary said: "It is clearly very important that we have a united and strong team at the top of government. There was differences of style, and it's right that we can move forward now and focus on what matters to people.
"The Prime Minister believes collective responsibility is a very important principle, and he believes that government and therefore senior ministers speak with one voice. There were some issues around language, the Prime Minister said that he wouldn't use some of the words that he's used before and ultimately the Prime Minister reserves the right to change the team sheet when he sees fit."
This is the second time Braverman has had to step down as Home Secretary after she resigned under Liz Truss for breaching the ministerial code by sending an official document to an ally outside of government from her personal email.
She’s frequently freelanced on rhetoric and policy, from describing illegal immigration as an “invasion” to pro-Palestine protests as “hate marches” and recently saying rough sleeping in tents was often a “lifestyle choice”. Sunak refused to repeat any of those statements.
People in some quarters suggested Braverman wanted to get sacked, so she could move to the backbenches and mount a leadership challenge. In an exclusive video filmed by NationalWorld at Braverman's wedding, she appeared excited at the prospect of becoming Prime Minister.
Braverman said this morning: "It has been the greatest privilege of my life to serve as home secretary. I will have more to say in due course."
The move from Sunak comes ahead of the Supreme Court decision on his and Braverman's controversial Rwanda policy. The idea to send asylum seekers to the east African country for processing and resettlement has been held up in the courts.
Braverman famously said that it was her "dream" and "obsession" to send asylum seekers to Rwanda. On Wednesday, Sunak will find out if his policy is legal according to the Supreme Court. If it's blocked, that would be a huge blow to his promise to "stop the boats".
Ralph Blackburn is NationalWorld’s politics editor based in Westminster, where he gets special access to Parliament, MPs and government briefings. If you liked this article you can follow Ralph on X (Twitter) here and sign up to his free weekly newsletter Politics Uncovered, which brings you the latest analysis and gossip from Westminster every Sunday morning.