'Hoping things will magically come right is not serious politics': Home Sec quits over security breach with swipe at PM

19 October 2022, 16:29 | Updated: 19 October 2022, 18:03

Suella Braverman has left the government after just six weeks as Home Secretary
Suella Braverman has left the government after just six weeks as Home Secretary. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

Suella Braverman has quit the government, leaving the post of Home Secretary with a swipe at Liz Truss, who pulled out of a planned visit today without giving a reason as she struggles to save her premiership.

Ms Braverman had been Home Secretary for just six weeks but has now left government.

In a resignation letter, Ms Braverman wrote: “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 garnering government 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.

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“Much of it had already been briefed to MPs. Nevertheless it is right for me to go.”

She added: “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.”

Secretary Tory MP Bob Seely gives a sincere apology

“I have concerns about the direction of this government.

“Not only have we broken key pledges that we 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."

A source told LBC: “It’s been an absolute s**t show.”

PM Liz Truss replied in a letter to Suella Braverman: “I accept your resignation and respect the decision you have made. “It is important that the Ministerial Code is upheld and that Cabinet confidentiality is respected.

“Your time in office has been marked by your steadfast commitment to keeping the British people safe. You oversaw the largest ever ceremonial policing operation, when thousands of officers were deployed from forces across the United Kingdom to ensure the safety of the Royal Family and all those who gathered in mourning for her late Majesty The Queen.

“I am also grateful for your previous work as Attorney General as my Cabinet colleague and in particular your work on the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill.

“I look forward to working with you in the future and wish you all the best.”

Grant Shapps was announced as her replacement in another reworking of Truss’s government. Downing Street denied she was sacked.

Her views on immigration are known to be at odds with the PM's stance.

Earlier this month it emerged that the PM was attempting to bypass her in a bid to loosen foreign workers rules, according to reports.

'All these silly noises in Downing Street are a distraction from a really stressful situation."

Yesterday Ms Braverman described the opposition as ‘tofu-eating wokerati’ in a fierce exchange in the commons.

She said: “It’s the coalition of chaos. It’s the Guardian-reading, tofu-eating wokerati, dare I say, the anti-growth coalition that we have to thank for the disruption that we are seeing on our roads today,” the home secretary said.

MPs were debating a Public Order Bill, which would introduce a new offence of obstructing major transport networks and make provision for stop and search powers. It comes after Just Stop Oil protesters caused severe disruption by shutting down the Dartford Crossing.

Her departure comes after the PM cancelled a visit to an aerospace factory at short notice with no explanation.

Downing Street declined to give a reason for why the PM pulled out of the scheduled visit on Wednesday, with a source just saying it was due to "Government business".

It comes as the Prime Minister's grasp on her chaotic leadership was further imperilled as a sixth Conservative MP publicly demanded her resignation.

The Tory whips have also told restless backbenchers that a Labour motion seeking to ban fracking is a "confidence motion" - which if she failed to win could prompt her resignation or a general election.

No 10 announced shortly after 12.30pm that Ms Truss would be visiting a British-owned electronics manufacturer specialising in defence, aerospace, transport and automotive technology.

The Prime Minister's official spokesman said she would be hearing "from the kind of businesses driving UK innovation and growth".

"The Prime Minister remains committed to going for growth and ensuring we're supporting companies to flourish," he added.

But a little over an hour later, the visit, during which Ms Truss was expected to take questions from broadcasters, was cancelled.

On Wednesday evening, MPs will vote on an opposition motion seeking to ban fracking after the Prime Minister lifted the moratorium in England despite the concerns of many Tories.

Conservative deputy chief whip Craig Whittaker issued a "100% hard" three-line whip, meaning any Tory MP that rebelled could be thrown out of the parliamentary party.

They said she was not meeting the powerful chairman of the 1922 Committee of backbench Tories, Sir Graham Brady, amid speculation he has received a tranche of letters from MPs calling for a confidence vote in the PM.

It came after she insisted during Prime Minister's Questions that she is a "fighter, not a quitter" as she battles to stay in power.

She also insisted she was "completely committed" to the state pensions triple-lock after Chancellor Jeremy Hunt refused to reassure that payments would rise with inflation.

Senior Conservative William Wragg became the sixth Tory MP to publicly demand that Ms Truss quits, after her now largely scrapped mini-budget sparked financial turmoil and plummeting polling for the Conservatives.

Mr Wragg told the Commons he had handed a letter calling for a vote of no confidence in the PM to Sir Graham and described being "personally ashamed because I cannot go and face my constituents, look them in the eye and say that they should support our great party" following the disastrous financial announcement.

Earlier in the week, Ms Truss was accused of running scared after Labour called her to the Commons to answer questions on why she sacked Kwasi Kwarteng as chancellor.

Penny Mordaunt, the Commons leader who is viewed as a potential successor, was sent in her place and she insisted to MPs that "the Prime Minister is not under a desk" hiding to avoid scrutiny and denied there had been a "coup" to remove her.

Meanwhile, Kirsty Buchanan, a former special adviser to Ms Truss, told a podcast that aides used to lie about members of her family dying so she did not have to speak to journalists.

"She obviously didn't like the media so we used to spend quite a lot of time making up excuses and killing off minor members of her family so she didn't have to go on Question Time," she said.

Ms Buchanan assured listeners of Whitehall Sources it was only about "minor people like aunts and cousins and things", adding: "I'm not talking about major members of the family."

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