Controversial U.K. Home Secretary Suella Braverman is out

Grant Shapps, former transport secretary from the Boris Johnson government and a supporter of Rishi Sunak, will replace her

Published - October 19, 2022 11:36 pm IST - LONDON

Suella Braverman

Suella Braverman | Photo Credit: AP

Suella Braverman, until Wednesday afternoon the British Home Secretary, resigned from her post, ostensibly on security grounds. The former Home Secretary had sent a sensitive email to a non-government Tory MP via her private email account.

However, there appeared to be more to the story, with Ms. Braverman writing that she had “concerns” with the embattled Liz Truss government, which is hanging on by a thread after announcing (and then reversing) tax cuts that were deeply unpopular with the markets.

”Pretending we haven’t made mistakes, carrying on as if everyone can’t see that we have made them, and hoping that things will magically come right is not serious politics. I have made a mistake; I accept responsibility; I resign,” Ms. Braverman wrote in her resignation letter, apparently referring to Ms. Truss’s refusal to resign over her botched economic plan.

A loud critic of migration, Ms. Braverman specified some of her concerns in her letter, including the government not honouring manifesto promises, such as lowering overall migration numbers and stopping illegal migration. Paul Goodman, Editor of Conservative Home, tweeted that Ms. Braverman had resigned over pressure to make announcements regarding liberalising migration — to help the government’s growth plan meet its targets.

Additionally, Ms. Braverman had said earlier this month that she had “some reservations” about a U.K.-India trade deal — because Indians were the largest group of visa overstayers in the U.K. This had not gone down well with India.

While speaking at a Deepavali event on Tuesday, Ms. Braverman had said the U.K. had been “profoundly enriched” by Indian immigration, the Press Trust of India had reported.

“Naturally, there is an economic imperative for our countries to work together, which is why we are so eager to secure a trade deal,” Ms. Braverman had said, as per the report.

While a trade deal is still being discussed by both countries, the earlier deadline of Deepavali (October 24) is no longer on the cards. A foreign affairs spokesperson for the U.K. government was the latest to say this , on Wednesday, as they echoed comments of the International Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch.

“We are currently not expecting to have a final deal by the end of Diwali, which the International Trade Secretary set out herself last week,” the spokesperson said at a briefing for the foreign press on Wednesday.

“But we still fully expect to get a good and comprehensive free trade deal with India that fully benefits both sides,” the spokesperson said.

Downing Street announced that Grant Shapps, former transport secretary from the Boris Johnson government, would replace Ms. Braverman. Significantly, Mr. Shapps was a supporter of Rishi Sunak, the former Chancellor and Ms. Truss’s rival in the Conservative party contest this summer for the top job.

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