British Prime Minister Liz Truss has sacked Home Minister Suella Braverman, who claims Indians were the worst visa overstayers, dashing Britain’s hopes of an early trade deal with India.
But Braverman, whose 43-day term has made him Britain’s shortest-serving Home Secretary since 1834, has not gone quiet. In his resignation letter, he reprimanded Truss for not taking responsibility for his mistakes and for resigning.
The government initially said that Braverman, who belongs to the Conservatives’ right-wing wing, had to step down because he broke privacy rules by sending a draft immigration plan to a party lawmaker. But it immediately became clear that this was just an excuse to force him out of the government.
Braverman’s departure late on Wednesday added to the chaos as the Conservative government was said to be on the verge of collapse after days of high political drama.
Braverman, of Tamil and Goa origin, fired an angry resignation letter accusing the government of “breaking key promises” made to voters and party members.
“I have serious concerns about this government’s commitment” to “reducing overall immigration numbers and stopping illegal migration”, she wrote.
More seriously, Braverman wrote in a direct attack on Truss: “Pretending that we haven’t made mistakes, acting as if not everyone can see we made them, and hoping that things will magically go right.” Not serious politics.
Braverman’s hardline views on immigration are seen as a position to play a leading role in the party’s far-right. His exit almost adds to the real turmoil that has surrounded the current government.
The high drama of Braverman’s exit was followed by unprecedented scenes in which Conservative MPs were dragged into the parliamentary chamber to vote on a controversial bill to reinstate fracking, which was strongly opposed by many party members. Truss did not vote on the divisive legislation, claiming that there was a mix-up regarding his vote. Earlier this month, Braverman rejected the British government’s bid to sign a trade deal with India until Diwali, when it resisted all attempts to ease visa conditions.
Braverman is replaced as Home Secretary by Grant Shapps, who is also from the center of the party. Shapps’ appointment indicates that power is moving out of the hands of the truss and being taken back by the party’s center group.
Shap’s appointment was a surprise as she expressed doubts earlier this week as to whether she would survive as leader, saying, “She needs to turn off the lights and thread the eye of the needle, that’s so much.” Its difficult.”
The entire liberal agenda of the truce has been shelved. Just six days earlier, the truce had fired Quasi Quarteng as chancellor of the treasury to appease Conservative lawmakers when he revolted over his radical mini-budget, leaving the pound and the market in freefall.
Two of the four so-called noble offices of state have changed hands under the truce, now seeking to appeal to a broader middle-of-the-road political base rather than its uber-right loyalists.
Truss replaced Quarteng with Jeremy Hunt, a centrist who was a staunch opponent of the prime minister’s brand of right-wing politics.
In a move to stable financial markets, Hunt, regarded as a politically safe pair of hands, trashed the tax-cutting economic gameplan devised by Truss and Quarteng that involved heavy borrowing.
Hunt is now being described as the government’s CEO, with Prime Minister Liz Truss almost non-executive chairman.