UK’s Home Secretary Suella Braverman has been fired from her job by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, just over a year after she first landed the role.
Braverman, who belongs to the right faction of the Conservative Party, was criticised for expressing her views in an article she wrote for Times of London last week where she accused the police of “play[ing] favourites when it comes to protesters” and turning a blind eye to “pro-Palestinian mobs” who she descried as “hate marchers”.
On Saturday, a huge pro-Palestinian rally was attended by hundreds of thousands of people in London. Police said up to 145 protesters were arrested, while nine officers were injured.
In her article, Braverman said the rally was not “merely a cry for help for Gaza” but “an assertion of primacy by certain groups — particularly Islamists — of the kind we are more used to seeing in Northern Ireland.”
She accused the police of a “double standard” in the way they managed the protests.
“Right-wing and nationalist protesters who engage in aggression are rightly met with a stern response yet pro-Palestinian mobs displaying almost identical behaviour are largely ignored, even when clearly breaking the law,” she wrote.
The prime minister’s office had not approved the article in advance as is standard practice, causing many to continue their calls on Sunak to fire Braverman.
As Home Secretary, the 43-year old former barrister had one of the most senior jobs in government, responsible for managing immigration and policing.
Media commentators predict Braverman’s sacking will further rupture the tension already brewing within the Conservative Party’s right wing faction.
On Monday, Braverman said “it has been the greatest privilege of my life to serve as home secretary”, adding that she will “have more to say in due course.”
Braverman has previously run for the Conservative Party leadership, campaigning on hard-right platitudes against asylum seekers, homeless people and the expansion of charities.
Last month, she called migration a “hurricane” that would bring “millions more immigrants to these shores, uncontrolled and unmanageable”.
In her keynote speech to the governing party’s annual conference in Manchester, she said that UK governments had been “far too squeamish about being smeared as racist to properly bring order to the chaos.”
Conservatives, she said, would give Britain “strong borders.”
She also said that the Human Rights Act should be called the “Criminal Rights Act.”
“Our country has become enmeshed in a dense net of international rules that were designed for another era,” she said.
“And it is Labour that turbocharged their impact by passing the misnamed Human Rights Act. “I’m surprised they didn’t call it the ‘Criminal Rights Act’.”
“Highly controversial ideas are presented to the workforce and to the public as if they’re motherhood and apple pie: gender ideology, white privilege, anti-British history,” she added. “And the evidence demonstrates that if you don’t challenge this poison, things just get worse.”
Around the same time, Braverman appeared on Sky News to express her transphobic views after the health secretary announced that sex-specific language would be used when dealing with women’s health, and that proposals were in place to ban transgender women from being treated in female hospital wards in England.
“Trans women have no place in women’s wards or indeed any safe space relating to biological women,” Braverman said.
“The Health Secretary is absolutely right to clarify and make it clear that biological men should not have treatment in the same wards as biological women. This is about protecting women’s dignity and women’s safety and privacy. Therefore I am incredibly supportive and welcome the announcement today by the Health Secretary.”
Earlier this month, Braverman announced plans to establish a civil offence to deter charities from giving tents to homeless people. She suggested imposing restrictions on charities that give tents to people living on the streets. She posted on X: “We cannot allow our streets to be taken over by rows of tents occupied by people, many of them from abroad, living on the streets as a lifestyle choice.”
Braverman was thoroughly condemned for these views – a joint letter composed by UK charities including Crisis, Centrepoint, St Mungo’s and Pathway read: “Sleeping on the street is not a lifestyle choice. Laying blame with people forced to sleep rough will only push people further away from help into poverty, putting them at risk of exploitation. At the extreme end, we will see an increase in deaths and fatalities, which are totally preventable.”
Sunak has appointed former foreign secretary James Cleverly as the new Home Secretary.
So who is the new foreign secretary?
David Cameron. Yes. That David Cameron. The former PM, who led led the government between 2010 and 2016.
In a statement, Cameron said Britain was “facing a daunting set of international challenges, including the war in Ukraine and the crisis in the Middle East.”
“While I have been out of front-line politics for the last seven years, I hope that my experience — as Conservative leader for 11 years and prime minister for six — will assist me in helping the prime minister to meet these vital challenges,” he said.
“I’ve decided to join this team because I believe Rishi Sunak is a good prime minister doing a difficult job at a hard time. I want to support him.”