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There is increasing pressure from the Conservative Party for Rishi Sunak to dismiss Suella Braverman, as former Attorney General Dominic Grieve has called for her removal by Sunday.
With even Chancellor Jeremy Hunt publicly distancing himself from the Home Secretary’s comments, the Prime Minister faced significant pressure to dismiss Ms. Braverman following her controversial article in The Times.
A high-ranking member of the Conservative party deemed it “totally unacceptable” on Friday morning, and suggested that the Prime Minister should have a “very serious discussion” with her regarding her future.
Treasurer of the 1922 committee for Conservative party backbench MPs, Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, has suggested that Mr. Sunak should demand guarantees from the home secretary to improve her conduct or be replaced.
The BBC was told that the current state of affairs is not sustainable. Mr. Grieve, a senior member of the Conservative Party, stated that a new home secretary who is deserving of the role should be appointed by Sunday.
Mr Grieve, writing for The Independent, stated that on Sunday, the nation’s leaders will gather with the King to pay homage to those who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom under the law.
The home secretary, who holds a significant government position, is attending to place one of the wreaths.
The most beneficial action the Prime Minister can take is to guarantee the appointment of a new home secretary who is deserving of the position.
Sir Bob Neill, chairman of the justice committee, was joined by others in calling for Ms Braverman to resign, citing her position as untenable.
Ms. Braverman’s position is at risk following a statement from Downing Street stating that they did not authorize a controversial article in which she accused the Metropolitan Police of being biased towards left-wing demonstrations, specifically referencing a scheduled pro-Palestinian march on Armistice Day this Saturday. Downing Street is currently looking into the article after requesting changes be made, which were ultimately disregarded.
Mr. Hunt is the most recent minister to distance himself from the controversial remarks made by Ms. Braverman.
Under increasing pressure to dismiss Ms Braverman, Mr Sunak stated to the press: “As other Cabinet members have expressed, the language she used is not language I would have chosen to use.”
“I have a positive working relationship with her as a colleague and have consistently provided necessary funding for law enforcement, crime reduction, and the immigration and asylum system.”
A Conservative government official declined to state multiple times whether Mr Sunak has faith in Ms Braverman, stating that he did not author the article.
Robert Halfon, the Minister for Skills, refused to comment on whether Ms. Braverman will remain as Home Secretary in the coming week.
On Friday, it was revealed which modifications Ms. Braverman implemented at the request of No10, as well as those she did not make, such as removing a specific mention of Mr. Sunak.
According to a report from The Times, the home secretary issued a warning to the police to avoid being too lenient during the Armistice Day protest. The report also mentioned allegations of bias among senior police officers, with the home secretary stating that there was sufficient evidence to support these claims.
However, it was noted that she declined additional modifications, such as removing the reference to gatherings in Northern Ireland during the period of conflict known as the Troubles.
The Labour party criticized the Prime Minister for being weak and claimed that Ms Braverman’s actions go against the ministerial code.
According to the regulations for ministers, any significant interviews or media appearances, whether they are in print or on broadcast, must also be approved by the No 10 Press Office.
Senior members of the Conservative party criticized Ms Braverman, including Sir Bob, who accused the home secretary of displaying a pattern of poor decision-making and careless language. He also expressed his belief that she has jeopardized her own standing by making preconceived assumptions about the safety of the pro-Palestinian march.
Mr. Grieve expressed to BBC Newsnight that publicly criticizing the police in this manner is inappropriate and suggests a desire to manipulate their decision making, which is not acceptable in a society that values freedom and democracy.
“On the face of it she has created chaos within government.” Asked whether Ms Braverman’s job was untenable, he said: “It looks to me to be untenable.”
Mr. Grieve stated that if the protests on Saturday are legal, then Ms. Braverman is obligated to allow them to proceed. He believes that her actions are undermining fundamental principles of free speech and therefore, she is a significant threat.
He stated that if Ms Braverman is discovered to have violated the ministerial code, she should be dismissed from her position.
Sir Geoffrey stated that the article was not a wise decision, for various reasons. He believes that any disagreements between the home secretary and the Metropolitan Police commissioner should be handled privately rather than being brought into the public eye.
“The article was unprecedented.”
When questioned by Sky News about the Prime Minister’s trust in Ms Braverman, Mr Halfon declined to respond and instead stated that the government’s attention is on addressing the concerns of the public.
When asked if she would lose her job, the minister replied, “The Prime Minister is the one who chooses his ministers. That decision is beyond my control.”
The article written by Ms. Braverman for The Times drew a comparison between “pro-Palestinian mobs” and marches in Northern Ireland. She also alleged that the protesters are often overlooked by officers, even when blatantly violating the law.
Despite the Government’s objections, she has labeled the large demonstrations as “hate marches” and is planning another rally in London on Armistice Day.
When asked if he shared the same viewpoint as Ms Braverman, Mr Halfon stated that he firmly believes in the importance of maintaining the police’s operational independence.
“The Prime Minister is making every effort to guarantee the successful and peaceful execution of remembrance services.”
However, with concerns that the march on Saturday may turn violent, Mr Halfon stated that the police will be held responsible for any incidents that occur.