Downing St says Rishi Sunak believes in ‘actions not words’ in swipe at Braverman’s brutal letter

14 November 2023, 18:21

Downing Street said the PM believes in 'actions not words' in response to the letter from Suella Braverman
Downing Street said the PM believes in 'actions not words' in response to the letter from Suella Braverman. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

Rishi Sunak has hit back after a scathing attack from sacked home secretary Suella Braverman.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

A No 10 spokeswoman said this evening: "The Prime Minister was proud to appoint a strong, united team yesterday focused on delivering for the British people.

"The Prime Minister believes in actions not words. He is proud that this government has brought forward the toughest legislation to tackle illegal migration this country has seen and has subsequently reduced the number of boat crossings by a third this year. And whatever the outcome of the Supreme Court tomorrow, he will continue that work.

"The PM thanks the former Home Secretary for her service."

The statement comes after Ms Braverman accused the PM of a "betrayal of your promise to the nation" in a blistering parting shot after being sacked.

The axed Home Secretary mauled the PM in an extraordinary resignation letter this evening, telling him that he "manifestly and repeatedly failed to deliver on every single one" of four key policies.

She told Sunak that he has broken a series of promises on migration, the Rwanda policy, gender laws, and Brexit - adding that he was simply "occupying" the office of prime minister.

"Despite you having been rejected by a majority of party members during the summer leadership contest and thus having no personal mandate to be prime minister," she wrote, "I agreed to support you because of the firm assurances you gave me on key policy priorities."

"Either your distinctive style of government means you are incapable of doing so," she continued, "or, as I must surely conclude now, you never had any intention of keeping your promises."

Throughout the astonishing three-page letter, she told Mr Sunak his "plan is not working" and that he needed to "change course urgently" as the Conservatives were "running out of time" ahead of the next general election.

She said Mr Sunak had promised to do "whatever it takes" to stop small boats crossing the Channel - but said he has ultimately failed on such key policies.

Read more: Suella Braverman accuses Rishi Sunak of 'betraying the nation' in scathing resignation letter

Read More: Suella Braverman's stinging resignation letter: Read the text in full

Mel Stride reacts to Suella Braverman's scathing letter to Rishi Sunak

“I repeatedly urged you to take legislative measures that would better secure us against the possibility of defeat," she claimed, "You ignored these arguments. You opted instead for wishful thinking as a comfort blanket to avoid having to make hard choices. This irresponsibility has wasted time and left the country in an impossible position.”

Ms Braverman - who has been a leading figure on the right of the Conservative Party - was fired from Mr Sunak's government yesterday amid a high-profile cabinet reshuffle.

She repeatedly clashed with the prime minister over immigration policy, policing of protests, and her use of language describing homelessness as a "lifestyle choice".

After expressing pride in her record as Home Secretary, Ms Braverman wrote: "Despite you having been rejected by a majority of party members during the summer leadership contest and thus having no personal mandate to be prime minister, I agreed to support you because of the firm assurances you gave me on key policy priorities."

She said Mr Sunak's response to "the rising tide of racism, intimidation, and terrorist glorification" is "uncertain, weak, and lacking in the qualities of leadership that this country needs".

File photo dated 03/04/23 of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and (then) Home Secretary Suella Braverman during a visit to a hotel in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, for a meeting of the Grooming Gangs Taskforce.
File photo dated 03/04/23 of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and (then) Home Secretary Suella Braverman during a visit to a hotel in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, for a meeting of the Grooming Gangs Taskforce. Picture: Alamy

Continuing her scathing attack on the prime minister, Ms Braverman said: "Someone needs to be honest: your plan is not working, we have endured record election defeats, your resets have failed and we are running out of time."

"I will, of course, continue to support the government in pursuit of policies which align with an authentic conservative agenda," she added.

Her scathing attack comes ahead of the Supreme Court's ruling on Wednesday, deciding on the legality of the Rwandan asylum plans.

Issuing a public statement in response to Suella Braverman's extraordinary letter, a spokesperson for Mr Sunak said the prime minister "believes in actions not words".

"The prime minister was proud to appoint a strong, united team yesterday focused on delivering for the British people," the spokesperson said.

"The prime minister believes in actions not words. He is proud that this government has brought forward the toughest legislation to tackle illegal migration this country has seen and has subsequently reduced the number of boat crossings by a third this year.

"And whatever the outcome of the Supreme Court tomorrow, he will continue that work. The PM thanks the former home secretary for her service."

Providing immediate reaction to LBC, Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride said: “I have always found the prime minister to be a man of huge integrity and principal. I saw that when I worked closely with him during his leadership campaign and the way he conducted himself then."

He said Sunak has “stuck to his guns” and has “taken considerable action” on immigration issues.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Rugby Union player Connor Garden-Bachop has died at the age of 25 after a 'medical event', New Zealand Rugby has confirmed.

New Zealand rugby player Connor Garden-Bachop, 25, dies after 'medical event'

Mr Sunak was joined by Foreign Secretary David Cameron for the first time on the campaign

Flock of sheep flee as Rishi Sunak and David Cameron try to feed them

Olympic athletes ‘could die of overheating’ due to 'dangerous temperatures' at Paris 2024 Games

Olympic athletes ‘could die of overheating’ due to 'dangerous temperatures' at Paris 2024 Games

Comedian Victoria Vera Blyth was killed by her husband David Thomas Blyth

British businessman shoots his TV star wife dead in murder-suicide after 'row over her text messages' at Turkey home

Tattooed woman in black hunted by police after schoolboy, 12, was brutally attacked during attempted robbery

Tattooed woman in black hunted by police after schoolboy, 12, is attacked walking home from school

A decision not to charge police officers involved in the original Stephen Lawrence murder investigation has been upheld by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

Stephen Lawrence murder detectives will not face prosecution, CPS announces

Justin Timberlake has been arrested for “driving while intoxicated”

Justin Timberlake arrested for 'driving while intoxicated' in wealthy Hamptons enclave

Three children went missing after a day at Thorpe Park

Three children missing after day out at Thorpe Park found safe and well by police

Exclusive
Keir Starmer responds to callers about Palestine.

Starmer says he would take 'full part' in resolving Israel Gaza conflict, pledging to recognise Palestine as part of two-state solution

Former footballer Joey Barton has apologised to Jeremy Vine for defaming him on social media and agreed to pay £75,000 in damages.

Ex-footballer Joey Barton apologises to Jeremy Vine and pays £75,000 in damages over defamatory posts

SAS doctors have accepted a pay offer from the government

SAS doctors accept new pay offer from government after months of negotiations

British teen missing in Tenerife after desperately calling friends from 'the middle of nowhere' on night out

British teen missing in Tenerife after desperately calling friend from 'the middle of nowhere' after night out

Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer during LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast

'We would seek a better agreement' Keir Starmer tells LBC where he thinks "botched" Brexit deal can be improved

Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer during LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast show

Keir Starmer defends plan to repeal law protecting veterans from prosecution due to ‘lack of support’ in NI

Exclusive
Sir Keir Starmer took questions from LBC listeners this morning with a few weeks until the nation goes to the polls

Starmer refuses to rule out council tax hike, bins plans for football levy and admits he would have served under Corbyn

Exclusive
Sir Keir emphasised the importance of single-sex spaces

Trans people will be accommodated in 'side rooms' of single-sex wards, Sir Keir Starmer tells LBC