British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, on Monday fired Home Secretary Suella Braverman, who drew anger for accusing police of being too lenient with pro-Palestinian protesters, replacing her with foreign secretary, James Cleverly.
Cleverly, who was made home secretary this morning, has made his first statement in his new role.
He said, “It is an honour to be appointed as home secretary. The goal is clear. My job is to keep people in this country safe.”
ABC News reported that according to a source in the prime minister’s office, Sunak had “asked Suella Braverman to leave government and she has accepted.”
The Conservative Party said Sunak is carrying out a wider reshuffle which “strengthens his team in government to deliver long-term decisions for a brighter future.”
However, sacking one of the leading figures on the right of the party could pose difficulties for the prime minister as he seeks to get his party united behind him and ready for a general election in 2024.
Braverman in a statement said, “It has been the greatest privilege of my life to serve as home secretary. I will have more to say in due course.”
The sack comes as the ruling Conservatives confirmed a major reshuffle of Sunak’s top ministers was underway — his first since becoming the country’s leader on October 25, 2022.
The changes, set to be announced through the morning, are expected to reward loyalists and younger emerging MPs, after nearly 14 years in power take its toll on the Tories’ popularity.
The party has trailed the main Labour opposition by double-digit margins throughout Sunak’s time in power, and is widely tipped to lose the next election due next year.
Braverman had stoked controversy throughout her tenure, taking a hardline stance on immigration in particular and regularly wading into so-called culture wars issues which are seen as dividing the electorate.
It was blamed for stoking tensions ahead of a weekend of protests over Israel’s war in Gaza, which coincided with Armistice Day events, and prompted calls for her to be sacked.