British Home Secretary Suella Braverman has been removed from government just days after she criticised what she called soft-touch, preferential handling of anti-Israel, pro-Palestine protests in London, causing an outpouring of anger from the UK left, and even some within her own party.
Suella Braverman was removed as Home Secretary first thing Monday morning, one of the so-called great offices of state representing the most senior government departments, apparently the first casualty in the cabinet reshuffle expected today.
Update 11:00 GMT: Migration Watch Responds
Migration Watch’s chairman Alp Mehmet has made his thoughts on the sacking of Bravman known, drawing attention to her track record on speaking out about border control. He said:
“This is very disappointing news. Suella Braverman had a clear understanding of the consequences of mass immigration. Her courage and determination to say what a majority of the public think will be a serious loss to the country.”
Unfortunately for that same public, Braverman appears to have fallen on the strength of her talk only, not her actions. The United Kingdom is presently experiencing record levels of mass migration, which does not appear to have been impacted in any meaningful way by tough talk at the top.
Update 10:00 GMT: Braverman Replaced by James Cleverly
Foreign Secretary James Cleverly has been shuffled into Braverman’s job. A pragmatic Brexiteer, Cleverly has been making strong but unobtrusive progress in the Foreign Office role and has been in every government since Theresa May, seen widely as a rising star and a potential future Prime Minister.
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While this reshuffle is part of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak getting his government ready to fight the coming general election next year, Braverman’s sacking comes after days of intensified calls from her political enemies for her to be removed or resign after she criticised the Police’s handling of a wave of Israel-Palestine protests in London. Last week, Braverman wrote “there is a perception that senior police officers play favourites when it comes to protesters”, stating her view that there was an apparent left-wing bias in policing.
Examples given were that during the Coronavirus lockdown era she said lockdown objectors were shown “no quarter” by police while Black Lives Matter were “enabled, allowed to break rules and even greeted with officers taking the knee?”. Further, Braverman wrote, “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”. The politician said she had spoken to police officers who shared her view.
The comments, which were revealed to have been made without the clearance of the Prime Minister’s office — although Braverman’s representatives insisted it was within convention — were criticised by many, particularly from the left but also by some centrists from within the Conservative Party. Part of the criticism asserted that it was wrong for the Home Secretary to interfere in the work of London’s Metropolitan Police, although as Home Secretary she is the government minister with ultimate responsibility for policing, law, and order in the country.
While Braverman experienced sharp retaliation for those remarks last week, she appeared undeterred and made further comments criticising Palestine protests on Sunday, although in the context of today’s sacking, it is possible the comments were not meant as a serious statement of policy but rather as part of a possible bid for the leadership, or legacy building. Braverman wrote: “The sick, inflammatory and, in some cases, clearly criminal chants, placards and paraphernalia openly on display at the march mark a new low. Antisemitism and other forms of racism together with the valorising of terrorism on such a scale is deeply troubling… This can’t go on”.
Braverman said “further action is necessary”, again making clear that she felt the events were being insufficiently policed by the Met’s leadership, but praised individual frontline officers who she said “deserve the thanks of every decent citizen for their professionalism”, saying that multiple officers were injured was an “outrage”.
This story is developing, more follows.