Grant Shapps replaces Suella Braverman as UK home secretary

Braverman steps down after using her personal email to send an official document to a colleague, sending Liz Truss’s embattled premiership further into turmoil.

Suella Braverman
Braverman outside Downing Street in London [File: Phil Noble/Reuters]

British Home Secretary Suella Braverman has announced her resignation after sending an official document from her personal email account in what she called a “technical infringement” of government rules.

She has been replaced by former transport minister Grant Shapps, Truss’s office said.

In her resignation letter on Wednesday to embattled Prime Minister Liz Truss, Braverman also said she had concerns over the direction of Truss’s government, saying it was enduring “tumultuous times”.

The second senior minister to leave the government in less than a week, Braverman’s departure heaps yet more pressure on Truss as she fights to stay in power just more than six weeks after she entered Downing Street.

“I have made a mistake, I accept responsibility; I resign,” Braverman said in a letter to Truss posted on Twitter.

Braverman said she had sent an official document from her personal email to a parliamentary colleague, adding that this marked “a technical infringement of the rules” and that it was therefore “right for me to go”.

Truss said in a letter back to Braverman that it was important cabinet confidentiality is respected.

“I accept your resignation and respect the decision you have made. It is important the ministerial code is upheld and that cabinet confidentiality is respected,” Truss wrote.

Truss, who became prime minister on September 6, initially installed a cabinet of senior ministers who were loyal to her libertarian wing of the Conservative Party.

But the launch of a now largely scrapped economic programme forced her to fire her finance minister Kwasi Kwarteng and appoint Jeremy Hunt as his replacement. Hunt had backed Truss’s rival for leadership, Rishi Sunak.

Al Jazeera’s Andrew Simmons, reporting from London, said this is an indicator of one of two things.

“One: it could be that the prime minister, who posted on Twitter that it’s important the ministerial code is upheld and cabinet confidentiality is respected, and accepted the resignation … wants to be seen as in control and has moral values, which on any sort of thing like this, there should be a resignation. That could be the way it’s going to be portrayed,” he said.

“Or it could be rumblings of discontent in this cabinet and possibly more resignations to follow. That’s unclear at this stage. But it’s more uncertainty, it’s more instability.”

Braverman, who also ran for the leadership of the party before throwing her support behind Truss, had been a deeply polarising figure during her short tenure.

She told the party’s annual conference earlier this month that it was her “dream” to see a flight leaving the UK carrying asylum seekers to Rwanda.

“It is obvious to everyone that we are going through a tumultuous time,” Braverman said in the letter to Truss.

“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,” Braverman wrote.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies