New UK interior minister praises new finance minister amid cabinet tumult

Prime Minister Liz Truss, who initially built a cabinet of ministers loyal to her, has lost two of her most senior ministers in less than a week.

 Suella Braverman arrives at Number 10 Downing Street, in London, Britain September 6, 2022. (photo credit: REUTERS/PHIL NOBLE)
Suella Braverman arrives at Number 10 Downing Street, in London, Britain September 6, 2022.
(photo credit: REUTERS/PHIL NOBLE)

Britain's new interior minister, Grant Shapps, praised Jeremy Hunt on Wednesday, saying that while the government was having a difficult time, the country's new finance minister, Hunt, was doing a great job.

Prime Minister Liz Truss, who initially built a cabinet of ministers loyal to her, has lost two of her most senior ministers in less than a week. They were replaced by Hunt and Shapps who did not vote for her in the leadership race.

"Look, I accept that the government has obviously had a very difficult period," Shapps told reporters. "Jeremy Hunt, I think has done a great job of settling the issues relating to that mini budget."

Braverman's exit

Britain's Suella Braverman quit as interior minister on Wednesday, saying she had to go after she breached government rules but that she had concerns over the direction of Prime Minister Liz Truss's government.

 British Home Secretary Suella Braverman walks outside 10 Downing Street in London, Britain October 17, 2022. (credit: HENRY NICHOLLS/REUTERS) British Home Secretary Suella Braverman walks outside 10 Downing Street in London, Britain October 17, 2022. (credit: HENRY NICHOLLS/REUTERS)

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 over six weeks after she entered Downing Street.

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

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

Britain's Prime Minister Liz Truss leaves after attending the presentation of addresses by both Houses of Parliament in Westminster Hall, inside the Palace of Westminster, following the death of Britain's Queen Elizabeth, in central London, Britain, September 12, 2022. (credit: MARKUS SCHREIBER/POOL VIA REUTERS)Britain's Prime Minister Liz Truss leaves after attending the presentation of addresses by both Houses of Parliament in Westminster Hall, inside the Palace of Westminster, following the death of Britain's Queen Elizabeth, in central London, Britain, September 12, 2022. (credit: MARKUS SCHREIBER/POOL VIA REUTERS)

But the launch of a now-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 the leadership, Rishi Sunak.

The Guardian reported that former transport minister Grant Shapps, who also backed Sunak, is now likely to replace Braverman.

What were some of Braverman's intentions in office?

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 Britain 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.