Indian origin UK Minister Suella Braverman resigns as Home Secretary

Indian origin UK Minister Suella Braverman resigns as Home Secretary

In yet another sign of crack in the recently sworn-in Liz Truss government in the United Kingdom, Indian-origin British Home Secretary Suella Braverman resigned on Wednesday after a "mistake" in using her private email for ministerial communication.

In yet another sign of crack in the recently sworn-in Liz Truss government in the United Kingdom, Indian-origin British Home Secretary Suella Braverman resigned on Wednesday after a “mistake” in using her private email for ministerial communication.

Braverman was only appointed Home Secretary 43 days ago when British Prime Minister Truss took charge at 10 Downing Street amid significant discontent among Conservative lawmakers over her botched economic plan.

Suella Braverman’s exit followed a face-to-face meeting with Truss earlier on Wednesday and posted her resignation letter on her Twitter handle.

“I have made a mistake; I accept responsibility; I resign,” the 42-year-old barrister said. Braverman said she “sent an official document from my personal email to a trusted parliamentary colleague…as you know, the document was a draft Written Ministerial Statement about migration, due for publication imminently”.

“Nevertheless it is right for me to go. As soon as I realised my mistake, I rapidly reported this on official channels, and informed the Cabinet Secretary,” she said.

Grant Shapps, who was a major backer of Indian-origin Rishi Sunak during the Tory leadership contest, is likely to be the new home secretary, according to BBC.

Shapps was fired from his role as transport secretary by Truss when she became prime minister and was replaced by Anne-Marie Trevelyan.

In a short letter accepting Braverman’s resignation, Prime Minister Truss said, “It is important that the ministerial code is upheld and that cabinet confidentiality is respected.”

“I am grateful for your service as home secretary. 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.”

Also read: Waning power of Liz Truss gives rise to political plots, and jokes

In her resignation letter, Suella Braverman has raised “concerns” about the direction of the government and whether it is honouring the manifesto it was elected on.

In remarks that will deal a further blow to her boss Truss, she noted that “we are going through a tumultuous time. I have concerns about the direction of this government”.

“Not only have we broken key pledges that 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,” Braverman said.

She said it was “a great honour” to serve at the Home Office and thanked officials, special advisers and ministerial team for all of their help during her stint as Home Secretary.

Her resignation comes days after she caused a stir with her “concerns” over what she feared could be an “open borders” approach in the ongoing trade talks with India.

Addressing a Diwali event organised by UK-based India Global Forum (IGF) here on Tuesday evening, Suella Braverman said that the UK is “eager” to secure a trade deal with India to boost both economies and that Brexit has meant that Britain no longer has a Eurocentric mindset towards trade or visas.

In an apparent effort to override her recent controversial remarks about Indians forming the largest group of visa overstayers, the minister said the UK’s villages, towns and cities have been “profoundly enriched by immigration from India”.

“India is in my heart, she’s in my soul, she’s in my blood. I’m very proud that my father has his roots and his family home in Goa and my mother can trace her ancestral origins to Madras,” she said.

“India is part of my own heritage, I’m Indian on both sides of my family. My mother came here from Mauritius and my father came here from Kenya. They felt a deep connection and love for Britain even before they came here. It is a love that I share. And, I have never seen any inconsistency in that, for no inconsistency exists,” she added.

Suella Braverman, the Conservative Party member of Parliament for Fareham in south-east England, served as the Attorney General in the Boris Johnson-led government.

She was among the first contenders to throw her hat in the ring to replace Johnson as Tory leader and Prime Minister. She was named the Home Secretary by Prime Minister Truss.

Also read: UK PM Liz Truss battles to stay in power amidst U-turn on tax cuts

The mother of two children is the daughter of Hindu Tamil mother Uma and Goan-origin father Christie Fernandes.

Her mother migrated to the UK from Mauritius while her father migrated from Kenya in the 1960s.

Braverman is a Buddhist who attends the London Buddhist Centre regularly and took her oath of office in Parliament on the ‘Dhammapada’ scripture of Lord Buddha’s sayings.

Her resignation comes soon after the sacking of Kwasi Kwarteng as chancellor last Friday and the axing of the majority of the government’s mini-budget on Monday by his successor, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt.

The move is expected to further shake up Truss’ embattled leadership.

According to a YouGov poll of Tory members on Tuesday, as many as 83 per cent of Conservative members say Truss is doing badly as Prime Minister, including 72 per cent of those who voted for her in the leadership election which concluded with her win just over a month ago.

Only 15 per cent think she is doing well.

It survey comes as Prime Minister Truss apologised for ‘mistakes’ made in the first few weeks in office, which saw her entire tax-cutting economic agenda reversed by new Chancellor Jeremy Hunt and a clamour from different sections of the Tory parliamentary party to find ways to replace her.

Under the 1922 Committee rules, Truss is safe from a leadership challenge for at least 12 months.

However, her mishandling of the economy with a controversial mini-budget has resulted in a brewing rebellion within the ranks just weeks into the job.

(With agencies inputs)

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