Suella Braverman confused over sacking after ‘agreement with No 10’ for police attack article

Suella Braverman has described her sacking as a “bit odd” as she criticised Rishi Sunak for showing a “lack of moral leadership” over the past four weeks.

In her first interview since being asked to leave government, the former home secretary said Mr Sunak would have to “take responsibility for the consequences”, with her departure leading to a widening rift between the right and centre of the party.

She also spoke about her sacking last week, which came after she wrote an article for The Times accusing the police of “double standards” for giving the go-ahead for a pro-Palestine march on Armistice Day.

Speaking to the Mail on Sunday, she claimed Downing Street had agreed she should write the article, and had seen a draft. But as reported by The Independent, Mr Sunak’s official spokesperson claimed No 10 did not approve the final text.

“It was a bit odd because on the Wednesday we had agreement with No 10 that I should write an article for The Times. We had put a draft together and exchanged versions with the team at No 10 so I find it all very confusing,” Ms Braverman said.

“On the one hand they gave us permission and then the reason that he cited in the call was that he wasn’t happy with the op-ed [opinion article] in The Times.”

She revealed that the prime minister had phoned to sack her as she was making her way into parliament at breakfast time on Monday, and that he had informed her the op ed “wasn’t the right thing to do”.

Ms Braverman’s article sparked a furious outcry after she accused Scotland Yard of “playing favourites” over the Pro-Palestine rally. While Mr Sunak’s spokesperson at the time said he retained “full confidence” in her, they confirmed that No 10 did not approve the final text.

Braverman has since launched a scathing attack on the PM (PA Wire)
Braverman has since launched a scathing attack on the PM (PA Wire)

Ms Braverman doubled down on her attack on the Metropolitan Police in her interview – claiming a “soft touch was being taken towards pro-Palestinian marches” by Scotland Yard.

She also said Met chiefs “got it wrong” by failing to crack down on jihad chants. “I subsequently received legal advice from many senior lawyers who made it clear that chanting jihad in that particular context did constitute an arrestable offence. So, in my view they got it wrong.”

Calling for new laws, she said that the pro-Palestinian marches had been “threatening community cohesion and undermining British values”.

“There had been tepid and timid statements from the prime minister throughout the course of this issue and I felt there was a real opportunity for the prime minister to demonstrate some moral leadership,” she said. “I felt that was wholly lacking.”

Warning of a bleak electoral outlook if Mr Sunak failed to change direction, Ms Braverman also reiterated her calls for the UK to leave the “straitjacket” of human rights laws which have prevented the government’s plan to send migrants to Rwanda from succeeding in the Supreme Court.

Ms Braverman said she was “very glad” Mr Sunak had promised to bring in emergency legislation “But this needs to be meaningful change in the law and tweaking and finetuning is not going to cut it ... and we will not get flights off before the next general election,” she warned.

The ex-home secretary added: “We need to exclude elements of the Human Rights framework, whether that’s the ECHR [European Convention on Human Rights], the Human Rights Act or other international laws which have so far thwarted our ability to control our borders.”

The former cabinet minister also said that she has “got a copy” of a pact she alleges she signed with Mr Sunak in exchange for her support for him to become PM last October. But she said she was not releasing it – yet.

The day after being sacked, Ms Braverman launched a scathing attack on the prime minister, accusing him of breaking secret promises. She also stated that he had resorted to “wishful thinking” in approaching the Rwanda plan, and she had been repeatedly ignored.

After the publication of her letter, No 10 said it would not respond to individual accusations, but a spokesperson said: “The prime minister believes in actions not words ... And whatever the outcome of the Supreme Court, he will continue that work.”