London: UK’s new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak kicked off a row by reappointing Indian-origin Suella Braverman as Home Secretary, just days after she quit over a technical breach of government rules.
Braverman — an outspoken critic of former PM Liz Truss’s economic policy — stepped down last week after breaching email security rules. In her resignation letter, she also raised concerns about the direction of Truss’s government.
“Appointing Suella Braverman as Home secretary just days after she was sacked for a security breach doesn’t smack of integrity, competence, professionalism or sensible politics. It’s just cynical manoeuvring. This PM’s no better than the last two,” tweeted Labour MP Chris Bryant.
The London-born daughter of a Goan-origin father and Tamil-origin mother, Braverman had come out in support of Sunak saying he is the “only candidate that fits the bill and I am proud to support him”.
Braverman’s appointment came hours after Sunak said he wanted to lead the Conservative party with “integrity, professionalism and accountability”.
Labour MP Yvette Cooper lashed out at Sunak saying, “our national security and public safety are too important for this kind of chaos”.
“He said he wants his Government to have ‘integrity, professionalism and accountability at every level’ yet he has just appointed Suella Braverman to be Home Secretary again a week after she resigned for breaches of the Ministerial Code, security lapses, sending sensitive Government information through unauthorised personal channels, and following weeks of non-stop public disagreements with other Cabinet Ministers,” Yvette Cooper, shadow home secretary, was reported as saying in The Sun.
According to The Guardian, the move is widely seen as a “payback” for her endorsement of Sunak when Johnson threatened a comeback during the leadership race.
According to local media reports, questions were also raised about her stance on migration control, which has drawn sharp reactions from those even within her own party.
Supporting the UK’s exit from the European Convention on Human Rights, Braverman says that it is the only way for her country to solve immigration problems.
“I would love to be having a front page of The Telegraph with a plane taking off to Rwanda… That’s my dream. That’s my obsession,” she said at a fringe event at a Conservative party conference earlier in October.
Back in India, the country of her parents’ origin, the news of Braverman’s reappointment has doused the initial euphoria over Sunak’s rise as UK PM with his recent move drawing sharp reactions from the Indian Twitterati.
Braverman nearly scuppered the India-UK Free Trade Agreement by saying that she feared the deal would increase migration to the UK, when Indians already represented the largest group of visa overstayers.
She blamed uncontrolled migration into the UK and the newcomers’ failure to integrate for the riots in Leicester.