In a surprising turn of events, Suella Braverman has been dismissed from her role as home secretary after defying No.10 Downing Street over a controversial article accusing the Metropolitan Police of bias in policing protests. The move follows accusations that Braverman's actions escalated tensions ahead of planned demonstrations in London. Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, has initiated a significant cabinet reshuffle, with James Cleverly named as Braverman's replacement and former Prime Minister David Cameron unexpectedly taking over as foreign secretary.
The controversy unfolded when Braverman authored an article in The Times, alleging a "double standard" in the police's approach to right-wing demonstrations. The article, which No. 10 had requested to be toned down, drew criticism for potentially inflaming tensions and complicating law enforcement efforts.
Cleverly, previously serving as foreign secretary, expressed his gratitude for the "huge privilege" of the new role and called being home secretary a "fantastic job." While refusing to comment on distancing himself from Braverman's tenure, he emphasized his commitment to serving the British people and protecting national interests.
The unexpected appointment of David Cameron to the position of foreign secretary has sparked controversy and opposition. The Liberal Democrats are calling for Cameron's peerage to be blocked, citing his lobbying activities for the now-collapsed finance company Greensill Capital. Senior Labour MP Pat McFadden criticized the move, stating that Cameron's appointment contradicts the prime minister's claim to offer a change from years of Tory failure.
David Cameron, who had been out of Parliament since resigning as prime minister in 2016, has been given a seat in the House of Lords to facilitate his new role. In response to criticisms, Cameron asserted his desire to be part of a strong team serving the United Kingdom, praising Rishi Sunak's leadership during challenging times.
Suella Braverman's removal as home secretary marks the second time she has been ousted from the position. Previously, she resigned as home secretary under Liz Truss after sharing confidential cabinet papers with long-time ally Tory MP Sir John Hayes. Her return to the role under Rishi Sunak was seen as a political surprise, given her reputation as a right-wing figure within the Conservative party.
The sacking of Braverman comes amidst a broader reshuffling of the cabinet by Sunak, who aims to shape his top team ahead of the upcoming Autumn Statement. Some consider Braverman's dismissal a "wasted talent," with supporters acknowledging her abilities but noting her handling of the situation.
As the reshuffle continues, four junior ministers have announced their resignations from government. Schools Minister Nick Gibb, a long-serving figure, declared his resignation and intent to step down as an MP at the next election. Health Minister Neil O'Brien, Will Quince from the Department of Health and Social Care, and Transport Minister Jesse Norman have also left their roles.
The reshuffle, described by the prime minister's spokesperson as an effort to form a united team for long-term change, raises questions about the direction of the government and its response to internal and external challenges. The controversy surrounding Braverman's departure and Cameron's unexpected return adds complexity to the ongoing political landscape.
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