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UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman sacked over Pro-Palestine protest comments

UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman sacked over Pro-Palestine protest comments

UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman sacked over Pro-Palestine protest comments

Last Monday, Rishi Sunak sacked rightwinger UK Minister Suella Braverman following her criticism of police’s leniency in Pro-Palestine protests, which brought together between 300,000 and 800,000 people in the streets of the capital.

According to The Sun newspaper, the Conservative Party Minister has paid the price for the Armistice weekend violence in London on the sidelines of the 11 November commemorations and a demonstration in favour of a ceasefire in Gaza.

Suella Braverman, “the most hated woman in British politics,” according to Politico, made a series of controversial statements that cost her her place in the British government.

In an opinion piece published in the Times magazine on Thursday, the former UK minister criticised the police for authorising the pro-Palestinian march held on Saturday and accused them of “playing favourites”.

Describing the pro-Palestinian protesters as “hate marchers” and “pro-Palestinian mobs”, the minister asserted that the protest scenes were “disturbingly reminiscent” of those observed in Northern Ireland.

However, the piece did not receive the green light from Downing Street and thus violated the ministerial code. Besides challenging Rishi Sunak’s authority, these comments were deemed an attack on the operational independence of the police.

Placed for the first time at the head of the Home Office last autumn by the short-lived Prime Minister Liz Truss, then dismissed from her functions for having sent official documents from a personal email address, she was reappointed to this position by Rishi Sunak after coming to power. She then became the pet peeve of the Labour Party for her harsh stance on several issues, such as the migrant crisis.

Suella Braverman was particularly criticised when she spoke of an “invasion” of illegal migrants arriving on British shores. She also slammed the Geneva Convention on Refugees and claimed that multiculturalism has been a failure in the United Kingdom.

Such comments were considered controversial coming from a woman whose parents of Indian origin arrived in the United Kingdom in the 1960s from Kenya and Mauritius, but “not illegally”, she insisted.

Suella Braverman also warned of the “migrant hurricane” that is coming at a time when the United Kingdom is toughening its anti-immigration legislation and awaiting the green light from the courts to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda. She said she “dreamed” of one day seeing a photo of a plane taking migrants to this country on the front page of the British press.

Hundreds of far-right extremists clashed with police in the heart of the British capital on Saturday, 11 November, before clashing directly with pro-Palestine demonstrators in the evening.

James Cleverly to replace Suella Braverman

James Cleverly, 54, is appointed as the new home secretary, replacing Suella Braverman. He was appointed head of British diplomacy in September 2022 by Liz Truss and then reappointed the following month by Rishi Sunak. James Cleverly, elected from Essex in 2015 and then little known on the British political scene, gained visibility. He has been active both on the issue of the war in Ukraine and on the conflict between Israel and Hamas, increasing his trips to the Middle East in recent weeks.

Such a reshuffle has been expected for weeks as the Prime Minister, in Downing Street for just over a year, seeks to relaunch and prepare for the legislative elections scheduled for next year and no later than 2025. His party, in power for almost 14 years, is far behind Labour in the polls.

The Foreign Secretary will leave his position to former Prime Minister David Cameron, initiator of the referendum on the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, which led to “Brexit” – against which he had campaigned.

Commenting on this surprise return to business, David Cameron, who went to 10 Downing Street on Monday morning, said he was ready to put his “experience” at the service of the government. At the same time, the United Kingdom must face “formidable international challenges, notably the war in Ukraine and the crisis in the Middle East”, he added.

“While I have been out of front-line politics for the last seven years, I hope that my experience – as Conservative Leader for eleven years and Prime Minister for six – will assist me in helping the Prime Minister to meet these vital challenges,” Cameron tweeted on Monday, following his appointment as Foreign Secretary.

A brand new reshuffle?

Rishi Sunak’s office said that Jeremy Hunt would remain the Finance Minister during this reshuffle.

Environment Secretary Thérèse Coffey resigned to leave her position to Steve Barclay, previously the Brexit Secretary in Theresa May’s government and Health Secretary under Boris Johnson.

Victoria Atkins, formerly Financial Secretary to the Treasury, has been appointed Minister for Health and Social Care.

Laura Trott has been appointed Chief Secretary of the Treasury, replacing John Glen, who will be in charge of the “cabinet office”, which brings together the Prime Minister’s services.

Sources close to the government said other changes in positions could take place, as some ministers have yet to be completely satisfied in their current positions.

The return of David Cameron, who campaigned against Brexit, could help reconquer the centrist electorate, which the Tories are competing with the Liberal Democrats. However, the dismissal of Suella Braverman risks causing turmoil within the Conservative Party and reinforcing divisions, with some MPs having threatened to resign if she leaves the government.

In an incendiary letter published on Tuesday, ex-home secretary Suella Braverman blamed Sunak for “manifestly and repeatedly failing to deliver” on his key policy pledges on migration, the Rwanda asylum deal, Brexit and gender protections.

Suella Braverman slammed Sunak’s inability to come up with a backup if the UK Supreme Court justices rule the Rwanda scheme unlawful; he will thus “betray the nation” by failing to keep his promise to “stop the small boats”.

“Someone needs to be honest: your plan is not working, we have endured record election defeats, your resets have failed, and we are running out of time”, Suella Braverman writes in her three-page letter to Rishi Sunak.

Suella Braverman image source by David Woolfall.

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