British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has sacked Home Secretary Suella Braverman, who drew anger for accusing police of being too lenient with pro-Palestinian protesters.
The government said on Monday that Braverman has left her job as part of a cabinet shuffle ahead of a general election expected next year.
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Following her dismissal, Braverman said “it has been the greatest privilege of my life to serve as home secretary”.
“I will have more to say in due course,” she added.
Sunak had come under growing pressure to axe Braverman, an outspoken right-winger, after critics accused her of heightening tensions during weeks of contentious pro-Palestinian demonstrations and counterprotests in Britain.
Braverman, who was appointed to the post when Sunak became prime minister on October 25, 2022, was replaced by Foreign Secretary James Cleverly.
In turn, Cleverly’s old job was assigned to former Prime Minister David Cameron.
— UK Prime Minister (@10DowningStreet) November 13, 2023
“Here we go,” the party said on X, formerly Twitter. “Today @RishiSunak strengthens his team in government to deliver long-term decisions for a brighter future. Stay tuned for the latest.”
Other changes, set to be announced through the morning, are expected to reward loyalists and younger emerging MPs, after nearly 14 years in power have taken their toll on the Tories’ popularity.
The party has trailed the main Labour opposition by double-digit margins throughout Sunak’s time in power and is widely tipped to lose the next election.
Dividing the electorate
Braverman had stoked controversy throughout her tenure, taking a hardline stance on immigration in particular and regularly wading into so-called culture wars issues which are seen as dividing the electorate.
The right-winger attacked her critics as liberal “tofu-eating wokerati” while saying shortly after she was appointed that sending asylum seekers to Rwanda was her “dream” and “obsession”.
But her position became increasingly untenable after she last week wrote an explosive newspaper article, apparently without Sunak’s approval, accusing police of bias towards left-wing causes.
It was blamed for stoking tensions ahead of a weekend of protests over Israel’s war in Gaza, which were accompanied by violence by far-right counter-protestors, and prompted calls for her to be sacked.