Rishi Sunak has sacked Suella Braverman as UK home secretary after she was blamed for inflaming tensions over Armistice Day protests and saying police favoured leftwing protesters.
A government source told the Guardian: “Rishi Sunak has asked Suella Braverman to leave government and she has accepted.”
Her dismissal is expected to form part of a wider reshuffle of Sunak’s team, with Thérèse Coffey, the environment secretary, and Steve Barclay, the health secretary, believed to be also likely to go.
While Jeremy Hunt has been tipped to be moved as chancellor, this is seen as less imminent given this month’s autumn statement
Braverman’s dismissal follows weeks of controversy in which she increasingly seemed to be following her own hard-right policy agenda, with a series of controversial statements, including a much-criticised description of homelessness as a “lifestyle choice”.
It is the second time Braverman has been forced out of the same job in little more than a year. Liz Truss ordered her to resign in October last year after weeks in the job, for sending confidential information to an MP from a private email address.
The direct trigger for the sacking was an unauthorised article for Thursday’s Times, in which Braverman claimed there was “a perception that senior police officers play favourites when it comes to protesters” and were tougher on rightwing extremists than pro-Palestinian “mobs”.
The article also likened demonstrations calling for a ceasefire in Gaza to marches in Northern Ireland, which are mainly done by unionists.
The article was submitted to Downing Street, as is required for such pieces by ministers, and No 10 had sought substantial edits, but not all of these were made.
Braverman was blamed by police and Labour for helping inflame tensions resulting in far-right groups battling police near the Cenotaph on Saturday.
Some officers told the Guardian Braverman’s claims of bias were a significant factor in “sustained” far-right attacks on members of the force.
On Sunday, in her first public pronouncementsince the violence, Braverman made no comment on claims her rhetoric had inflamed tensions, instead demanding “further action” against pro-Palestine marches.
More details soon …