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

14 November 2023, 16:42 | Updated: 14 November 2023, 18:24

Home Secretary Suella Braverman with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak as he hosts a policing roundtable at 10 Downing Street, London. Picture date: Thursday October 12, 2023.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak as he hosts a policing roundtable at 10 Downing Street, London. Picture date: Thursday October 12, 2023. Picture: Alamy

By Christian Oliver

Suella Braverman has accused Rishi Sunak of a "betrayal of your promise to the nation" in a blistering parting shot a day after being sacked as Home Secretary.

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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 these key policies."

She told Mr 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 he 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'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 Mr Sunak has “stuck to his guns” and has “taken considerable action” on immigration issues.

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