Curated By: Shankhyaneel Sarkar
Last Updated: November 13, 2023, 14:15 IST
London, United Kingdom (UK)
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has fired his home minister Suella Braverman on Monday.
Rishi Sunak faced pressure from the opposition and the public to fire her following her comments seen as critical of the London Metropolitan Police.
Braverman penned an opinion piece in UK-based newspaper The Times where she accused the London Metropolitan Police of overlooking the chaos caused by pro-Palestinian activists during their march in London.
A report by the Bloomberg said that Braverman’s criticism of the police force may have led to far-right groups clash with police officers when pro-Palestinian marchers demonstrators rallied in London on Saturday.
The report citing members of the cabinet said that challenges to the Prime Minister’s authority cannot be defended. A member of the Conservative Party told the news agency that if Sunak does keep her in her job then he will give leverage to the argument put forth by his rival, opposition leader and chief of the Labour Party, Keir Starmer, who has called Rishi Sunak ‘weak’ for not being able to rein in his cabinet minister.
“It is just not the way any home secretary would do that job other than Suella Braverman, and Rishi Sunak is being so weak that he is allowing her to do that. It is very damaging,” Yvette Cooper, Labour’s shadow home secretary said.
The news agency also reported that several Tory lawmakers have “privately urged” Sunak to sack Braverman.
However, if he does fire her, it will anger the right-wing within the Conservative Party and lead to more division because Suella Braverman has the support of the right within the right.
300,000 pro-Palestine protesters marched on Saturday seeking ceasefire and ‘liberation of Palestine’ and urgent humanitarian aid for besieged Gazans. Protest leaders said the support increased because Braverman labelled them as “hate marchers” because some among the marchers allegedly called for a “jihad”.
The London police said the political drama also hindered their crowd management and public order maintenance plans. Police made 145 arrests on Saturday.
Defence minister Grant Shapps also did not comment on the future of his colleague when questioned about Braverman’s possible sacking and said the cabinet structure is the Prime Minister’s department.
There were many counterprotesters who were arrested for disrupting the pro-Palestine rally.
“Antisemitism and other forms of racism together with the valorising of terrorism on such a scale is deeply troubling,” Braverman said, focusing her criticism on pro-Palestine marchers despite arrests being made from both camps, despite mentioning “violence and aggression” by members of both camps.
The Israel-Hamas worry is not the only concern that Team Sunak is facing. The UK Supreme Court is going to rule on the legality of the government’s plan to deport asylum-seekers to Rwanda on Wednesday.
A Downing Street official told the news agency that the Sunak government is not confident of winning the Rwanda case. However, the timing complicates issues for Rishi Sunak because if he fires his colleague now it would look like both events were related.
Few Conservatives are preparing for a Cabinet rejig. Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden also discussed a possible reshuffle last week.