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London: Former British Home Secretary Suella Braverman lashed out at Prime Minister Rishi Sunak a day after he fired her, calling his approach “uncertain, weak” and a betrayal of his promises.
In a resignation letter she published on Tuesday, Braverman said Sunak had “manifestly and repeatedly failed to deliver” on key pledges and alleged that he “never had any intention” of keeping them.
Fired: Britain’s Home Secretary Suella Braverman.Credit: AP
Sunak sacked Braverman on Monday after she made a series of intemperate statements that deviated from the government line. In recent weeks she called homelessness a “lifestyle choice” and accused police of being too lenient with pro-Palestinian protests, which she called “hate marches.”
On Saturday, far-right protesters scuffled with police and tried to confront a pro-Palestinian march by hundreds of thousands through the streets of London. Critics accused Braverman’s language of helping to inflame tensions.
In her letter, she said Sunak had rejected her calls to ban pro-Palestinian demonstrations calling for a cease-fire in Gaza.
“Britain is at a turning point in our history and faces a threat of radicalisation and extremism in a way not seen for 20 years. I regret to say that your response has been uncertain, weak and lacking in the qualities of leadership that this country needs,” she wrote.
As home secretary, Braverman championed the government’s stalled plan to send asylum-seekers who arrive in Britain in boats on a one-way trip to Rwanda. A UK Supreme Court ruling on whether the policy is legal is due on Wednesday.
Braverman has called for the UK to leave the European Convention on Human Rights if the Rwanda plan is blocked, a move Sunak has not supported.
She accused Sunak of having no “Plan B” if the government loses the Supreme Court case. She said his reluctance to remove Britain from international rights agreements was “a betrayal of your promise to the nation that you would do ‘whatever it takes’ to stop the boats.”
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak hosts the first meeting of his new-look cabinet.Credit: Getty
Sunak’s office said the prime minister would “continue to tackle illegal migration … whatever the outcome of the Supreme Court case.”
“The prime minister was proud to appoint a strong, united team yesterday focused on delivering for the British people,” his Downing Street office said in a statement.
Her fusillade of scorn is part of Braverman’s bid to cement her place as leader of the Conservative Party’s authoritarian right wing. She’s seen as likely to run for party leader in a contest that could come if the Conservatives lose power in an election due next year.
Opinion polls put the party as much as 20 points behind the Labour opposition.
Although Braverman is a rallying figure for some Conservatives, she has the support of a minority of the party’s MPs. More centrist Tories see her as reviving the authoritarian and intolerant “nasty party” image that the Conservatives have long worked to shed, starting with the government of Prime Minister David Cameron between 2010 and 2016.
Cameron, widely regarded as politically moderate and socially liberal, returned to government Monday in the Cabinet shuffle that ousted Braverman. Sunak appointed him foreign secretary, making Cameron the first ex-prime minister for half a century to hold another Cabinet post.
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