British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has removed Home Secretary Suella Braverman from her position, citing the need for a cabinet reshuffle in anticipation of an upcoming general election. Braverman faced widespread criticism for her remarks accusing the police of being too lenient with pro-Palestinian protesters, escalating tensions during contentious demonstrations in the country.
Braverman, known for her outspoken right-wing views, expressed gratitude for the opportunity to serve as home secretary, hinting at future statements. The decision to dismiss her came amid mounting pressure on Sunak, who had faced accusations that Braverman’s actions exacerbated tensions during weeks of pro-Palestinian protests and counterprotests in the UK.
Foreign Secretary James Cleverly has assumed the role left vacant by Braverman, with former Prime Minister David Cameron taking Cleverly’s former position. The government, through social media, indicated that these changes are part of Sunak’s strategy to strengthen the government team for making long-term decisions aimed at a brighter future.
Additional announcements, expected throughout the day, are anticipated to include promotions for loyalists and emerging young Members of Parliament. The Conservative Party, in power for nearly 14 years, has witnessed declining popularity, consistently trailing behind the main Labour opposition by double-digit margins. The reshuffling of positions is seen as an attempt to rejuvenate the party’s image ahead of the impending election.
Braverman’s tenure was marked by controversy, particularly due to her hardline stance on immigration and frequent involvement in divisive “culture wars” issues. Describing her critics as the liberal “tofu-eating wokerati,” she faced increased scrutiny after penning an article without Sunak’s approval, accusing the police of bias towards left-wing causes. This move was deemed responsible for intensifying tensions during protests related to Israel’s conflict in Gaza, ultimately leading to calls for her dismissal.