Suella Braverman has resigned from her role as Home Secretary after sending an official document from her personal email in a breach of the security rules for government. She leaves her position in the wake of a difficult week for Liz Truss’ front bench, which saw Kwasi Kwarteng sacked as chancellor last week and an aggressive Prime Minister Questions earlier on Wednesday October 19.
Ms Braverman said in her resignation letter that she "sent an official document from my personal email to a trusted parliamentary colleague... as you know, the document was a draft Written Ministerial Statement about migration, due for publication imminently".
She said: "Nevertheless it is right for me to go. As soon as I realised my mistake, I rapidly reported this on official channels, and informed the Cabinet Secretary.” She went on to add "we are going through a tumultuous time... I have concerns about the direction of this Government".
"Not only have we broken key pledges that were promised to our voters, but I have had serious concerns about this Government’s commitment to honouring manifesto commitments, such as reducing overall migration numbers and stopping illegal migration, particularly the dangerous small boats crossings."
Grant Shapps will replace the increasingly hardline Braverman at the Home Office. Earlier, Truss squared off against the Labour leader in Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) for the first time since new Chancellor Jeremy Hunt scrapped “almost all” of her tax cut plans and increased public spending on Monday. Starmer slammed her economic credibility as “gone”, while Truss said she was a “fighter, not a quitter”.
The home secretary, who was given the job when Truss entered No 10 in early September, was seen as a backbench and party member-pleasing choice for the role, given her robust views on immigration, law and order and culture war issues. Her words against her political opponents have caused vitriol however, at one stage blaming a “coalition of chaos” regarding environmental issues.
Labour MP Zarah Sultana tweeted after the news “Good riddance! It looks like you won't get to live your twisted "dream" of deporting refugees to Rwanda. Now to end that vile policy once and for all.”
The Liberal Democrats described Ms Braverman’s exit as the latest in a “carousel of Conservative chaos”. They tweeted on the official account: “This is a Government in chaos. People should not be forced to watch the Conservative party implode day after day while real people suffer. The only solution now is a General Election so the public can get off this carousel of Conservative chaos.”
Suella Braverman’s resignation letter in full
Dear Prime Minister,
It is with the greatest regret that I am choosing to tender my resignation.
Earlier today, I sent an official document from my personal email to a trusted parliamentary colleague as part of policy engagement, and with the aim of gammering support for government policy on migration. This constitutes a technical infringement of the rules. As you know, the document was a draft Written Ministerial Statement about migration, due for publication imminently. Much of it had already been briefed to MPs. Nevertheless it is right for me to go.
As soon as I realised my mistake, I rapidly reported this on official channels, and informed the Cabinet Secretary. As Home Secretary I hold myself to the highest standards and my resignation is the right thing to do. The business of government relies upon people accepting responsibility for their mistakes. 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.
It is obvious to everyone that we are going through a tumultuous time. I have concerns about the direction of this government. Not only have we broken key pledges that were promised to our voters, but I have had serious concerns about this Government’s commitment to honouring manifesto commitments, such as reducing overall migration numbers and stopping illegal migration. particularly the dangerous small boats crossings.
It has been a great honour to serve at the Home Office. In even the brief time that I have been here, it has been very clear that there is much to do, in terms of delivering on the priorities of the British people. They deserve policing they can respect, an immigration policy they want and voted for in such unambiguous numbers at the last election, and laws which serve the public good, and not the interests of selfish protestors.
I am very grateful to all of my officials, special advisers and ministerial team for all of their help during my time as Home Secretary. I especially would like to pay tribute to the heroic policemen and women and all those who work at Border Force and in our security services. To oversee Operation Bridges - the largest policing operation in a generation - was a great honour and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to serve.
I wish my successor good luck.
Rt Hon Suella Braverman KC MP