London politics LIVE: Braverman in explosive attack on Sunak who faces Tory civil war risk

Suella Braverman has accused Rishi Sunak of having “manifestly and repeatedly failed to deliver” on key policies, in an incendiary resignation letter after being sacked as home secretary.

Mrs Braverman, one of the leading figures on the right of the Tory party, urged Mr Sunak to “change course urgently”, telling him he has led the Conservatives to “record election defeats” and that his “resets have failed and we are running out of time”.

In a three-page broadside, she accused the Prime Minister of “betrayal” over a promise to stop small boat crossings.

She said Mr Sunak had not lived up to his promise to do “whatever it takes” to stop small boat crossings by failing to override human rights concerns about the Rwanda plan.

Monday's dramatic reshuffle - which saw Lord David Cameron appointed Foreign Secretary and Mrs Braverman sacked - has angered some on the Tory right. Allies of ousted Mrs Braverman accuse the Prime Minister of abandoning 2019 voters, in his bid to revive his electoral fortunes.

But earlier on Tuesday, Mr Sunak hailed his "strong and united team" at his first Cabinet meeting following the reshuffle, and promised "big, bold decisions that will drive change".

David Cameron speaks to US Secretary of State

07:21 , Miriam Burrell

The new Foreign Secretary has spoken with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken as one of his first tasks in the new role.

Last night they discussed the conflict in the Middle East, Israel's "right to self defence and the need for humanitarian pauses to allow the safe passage of aid into Gaza", the Foreign Office said.

Tory Party Chairman: Braverman 'entilted to her opinions'

07:39 , Miriam Burrell

The new Tory party chairman Richard Holden said Suella Braverman is "entitled to her opinions" but stressed that the new Cabinet would "work collectively for the good of the country".

"The best way to get things done is to often work behind the scenes to deliver significant change," he told Sky News.

On Rishi Sunak's decision to sack Ms Braverman, he said: "I back all the prime minister's decision", adding that he is "absolutely right" to make "any decisions he wants".

He said that David Cameron was brought on as Foreign Secretary because of his "huge amount of experience as a former prime minister".

Paul Scully fired as London minister

07:49 , Miriam Burrell

Paul Scully said he'd "had better days at work" after being sacked as London minister overnight amid Rishi Sunak's reshuffle.

The MP for Sutton, Cheam and Worcester Park said he "kept London open as a shop window for UK-wide investment" during the Covid pandemic.

Pictured: David Cameron leaves home

07:56 , Miriam Burrell

The new Foreign Secretary has left his home in west London ahead of this morning's Cabinet meeting.


New Home Secretary declares Hamas 'terror group'

08:07 , Miriam Burrell

The new Home Secretary James Cleverly has said Hamas are "a terror group" after Jeremy Corbyn appeared to avoid saying so on Talk TV with Piers Morgan.

The Labour MP was repeatedly asked if he was prepared to call Hamas a terror group, after which he appeared to avoid answering yes or no.

Mr Cleverly shared the video on X, formerly Twitter, this morning, writing: "As Home Secretary, I can confirm that Hamas are a terror group."

'James Cleverly is much better than Suella Braverman'

08:29 , Miriam Burrell

The Shadow Chief Secretary Darren Jones has said James Cleverly is a "much better" choice as Home Secretary than Suella Braverman.

But he told Sky News that he is skeptical Mr Cleverly will bring any real changes.

"I hope the change is something we see in practise."

He said it's "all well and good putting out witty tweets but we need a plan that works", saying that the Tories's plan to "stop the boats" isn't working.

Pictured: New Cabinet ministers start to arrive at Downing Street

08:38 , Miriam Burrell

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Laura Trott has arrived at Downing Street this morning ahead of the first meeting of Rishi Sunak's fresh Cabinet.

So has Home Secretary James Cleverly and Housing Minister Lee Rowley.

Meanwhile Foreign Secretary David Cameron arrived at the Foreign Office this morning.

James Cleverly (PA)
James Cleverly (PA)
Laura Scott (REUTERS)
Laura Scott (REUTERS)
David Cameron (REUTERS)
David Cameron (REUTERS)

Lord Cameron arrives at No10 for first Cabinet meeting in years

09:29 , Miriam Burrell

Former prime minister David Cameron has arrived at Number 10 in his new role as Foreign Secretary.

This morning he will attend his first Cabinet meeting since stepping down from politics in 2016 following the Brexit referendum.

Lord Cameron laughed after a Downing Street photographer asked him if he missed being "shouted at in the street".


Greg Hands appointed minister for London

09:42 , Miriam Burrell

Outgoing Tory chairman Greg Hands was appointed minister for London on Tuesday after Paul Scully was dismissed in a Cabinet reshuffle.

Mr Hands, the Conservative MP for Chelsea and Fulham, was handed the London role alongside a new job as a middle-ranking minister in the trade department, after Rishi Sunak demoted him from the party chairmanship.

There was no immediate comment from Mr Hands, but a disappointed Mr Scully urged the Prime Minister to take the London role seriously.

“It's often felt a lonely place trying to build up London’s confidence in the Conservative party,” the MP for Sutton and Cheam told the Standard.

He noted that the Standard had run a front page in June which asked: “Have the Tories given up on London?”

Read more here.

Greg Hands (PA Wire)
Greg Hands (PA Wire)

'Let's get to work': Rishi Sunak opens first meeting of new Cabinet

09:45 , Miriam Burrell

Rishi Sunak has said his new-look Cabinet would make the "big, bold decisions that will drive change".

Opening the first meeting of his top team since the changes which saw Lord David Cameron return to government, the Prime Minister said: "Looking around this table, I know that we have an energetic and enthusiastic team that is going to deliver for the country.

"So, let’s get to work."

 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Sunak: New Cabinet is 'strong and united team'

09:58 , Miriam Burrell

Rishi Sunak told his new Cabinet they make a "strong and united team" that will "change our country for the better" as he opened the meeting this morning.

He outlined how on Wednesday the Supreme Court would make a decision on the Government's Rwanda Plan and next Wednesday the Chancellor would deliver a "very important Autumn statement".

He reiterated his main goals of Government, including halving inflation and "stopping the boats".

"You all know that’s not the limit of our ambitions," he said, adding that it was also to "build a better future for our children and grandchildren".

"I’m confident we can demonstrate to the country we are making progress ."

 (via REUTERS)

Pictured: Cabinet meeting with Sunak's new team

10:14 , Miriam Burrell

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak among his new team at Downing Street.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
 (via REUTERS)

Whip Julie Marson returns to backbenches

10:21 , Miriam Burrell

Julie Marson says she is stepping down as a Tory whip and will return to the backbenches as a "personal decision".

Flurry of changes in Whips' Office

10:31 , Miriam Burrell

Downing Street has announced a series of changes in the Whips’ Office.

Stuart Anderson, Dame Amanda Milling, Joy Morrissey and Mike Wood were made Government whips while Aaron Bell, Mark Fletcher, Mark Jenkinson and Suzanne Webb became assistant whips.

Who is the 'common sense minister' Esther McVey?

11:18 , Miriam Burrell

Esther McVey has been appointed the "common sense" minister in the Cabinet Office, Tory chairman Richard Holden said.

Mr Holden said that Ms McVey was a "plain-speaking northerner from Merseyside, I think she’s a great addition to the broad team."

Continuing, Mr Holden said: "What Esther is going to be doing is bringing that extra dimension to it. We are a broad church of a political party, we want all parts of the centre right in British politics to be represented. It’s the nature of our democracy."

Read more on her here.


What's happened this morning?

11:46 , Miriam Burrell

David Cameron joined his first Cabinet meeting under Rishi Sunak on Tuesday as feuding Tory Right-wingers were urged to unite under the Prime Minister’s revamped top team.

The former PM took his place at the top table inside No10 after his shock return as Foreign Secretary as Mr Sunak promoted a raft of centrists from the Cameron era in the build-up to a general election next year.

In a sign of tensions surrounding Suella Braverman’s sacking, there was no traditional exchange of letters between her and the PM, although she indicated that she would have more to say later — possibly after the Supreme Court delivers its verdict on the Rwanda deportations plan.

One Right-winger angered at her dismissal, Andrea Jenkyns, wrote to demand a no-confidence vote in Mr Sunak’s leadership.

Read our deputy political editor Jitendra Joshi's wrap here.

David Cameron leaves No10 this morning (AP)
David Cameron leaves No10 this morning (AP)

Braverman could have stayed in Cabinet if 'team player'

11:57 , Miriam Burrell

Lord Hague has said former Home Secretary Suella Braverman could have stayed in Rishi Sunak's Cabinet if she had been "a good team player".

He dismissed suggestions that the Prime Minister was undergoing a "purge of the right" in the Tory party.

The former Tory leader told Times Radio: "You can be a forceful personality and you can be on a particular wing of a party and still be a successful member of a Cabinet.

"But you can’t if you keep saying things that the rest of the Cabinet have to disown. So I don’t think it was a matter of Right or Left."

Sunak and Cabinet anticipate upcoming Supreme Court decision on Rwanda

12:13 , Sami Quadri

Rishi Sunak and Cabinet ministers discussed an upcoming Supreme Court decision on the Rwanda plan during a meeting on Tuesday.

Home Secretary James Cleverly “outlined some of the possible scenarios” of the judgment, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said.

A Cabinet readout said: “Ahead of the Supreme Court judgment on the Rwanda migration partnership tomorrow, the Prime Minister highlighted significant progress made by the Government to stop the boats.

“He said that the UK was bucking the global trend by significantly reducing the flow of illegal immigrants into the country while other countries continue to see their numbers rise.

“Alongside this, he said we are on track to eliminate the asylum legacy backlog and were making good progress on curbing the use of hotels to house migrants.

“The Home Secretary updated Cabinet ahead of the court judgments and on the wider work to curb illegal migration, including through more returns agreements, most recently with Georgia and Albania.”

Cabinet discuss inflation figures during Tuesday meeting

12:16 , Sami Quadri

Inflation targets were among several topics discussed during a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

A Cabinet readout said: “Ahead of new inflation statistics to be released tomorrow, the Chancellor said the continued progress in reducing the rate of inflation was testament to the hard work of Government in retaining fiscal discipline, not fuelling inflation through additional borrowing.

“The Prime Minister concluded by saying it was a shared privilege to be a member of Cabinet and that he was confident that the people around the table had the energy and ambition to deliver real change to benefit the public.”

Sunak axes Braverman’s plan to ban tents for homeless people

12:36 , Sami Quadri

Rishi Sunak has axed Suella Braverman's plan to restrict tents being handed out to homeless people on the streets

Mrs Braverman was sacked as home secretary on Monday following a series of controversial comments, including describing homelessness as a “lifestyle choice”.

The plans will not be included in the Criminal Justice Bill, No 10 indicated.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “It’s not going to be introduced in the Criminal Justice Bill. I’m not aware of any plans for its introduction elsewhere.”

David Cameron discusses Gaza conflict with Antony Blinken

13:54 , Miriam Burrell

New Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron held talks with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken as America and Britain stepped up pressure on Israel to limit civilian casualties during its invasion of Gaza to crush terror group Hamas.

Battles between Israeli soldiers and Hamas gunmen around hospitals have forced thousands of Palestinians to flee from some of the last perceived safe places in northern Gaza, stranding critically wounded patients and dozens of newborn babies with dwindling supplies and no electricity, said health officials.

Read more from our political editor Nicholas Cecil here.

Comment: Why did David Cameron come back to politics?

14:18 , Miriam Burrell

Anne McElvoy gives her take on why the former prime minister would return to politics after seven years.

Read it here.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

'Is it April Fool's Day???': WhatsApps leaked after Braverman sacking

14:27 , Miriam Burrell

Sky News has revealed leaked WhatsApp messages sent between a Conservative group after Suella Braverman was sacked as Home Secretary.

One message said Rishi Sunak has "committed political suicide" while another asked "is it April Fool's day???".

Another read: "The cabinet is pretty much the exact opposite of what we voted for in 2019."

Sky News said the views are not representative of the whole Tory membership.

Lord Cameron announces sanctions against senior Hamas leaders

15:08 , Miriam Burrell

New Foreign Secretary David Cameron has announced sanctions against four senior Hamas leaders and two of the militant group’s financiers, in one of his first moves in the role.

After taking the co-ordinated action with the US, the former prime minister said: "We will continue to use every tool at our disposal to disrupt the abhorrent activity of this terrorist organisation, working with the United States and our other allies, making it harder for them to operate and isolating them on the world stage.

"The Palestinian people are victims of Hamas too.

"We stand in solidarity with them and will continue to support humanitarian pauses to allow significantly more lifesaving aid to reach Gaza."

Who are the Hamas leaders being sanctioned by the UK?

15:16 , Miriam Burrell

Yahya Sinwar, Hamas's political leader in Gaza, is among individuals from the group's political and military wings targeted by today’s UK sanctions.

He is reported to have been involved in the brutal attacks on Israel last month.

Also designated is Muhammed Deif, commander of the group's military arm.

The sanctions show that the terror group's leaders cannot escape the consequences of their actions, "even if they are pulling the strings from outside of Gaza", the Foreign Office said.

Those covered include a Lebanon-based financier and money launderer in Sudan.

All those sanctioned by the UK and US were targeted for their leadership or financing roles in the group, which was originally founded in the late 1980s with a commitment to destroy Israel.

These designations add to existing UK sanctions against Hamas, including on the organisation itself.

Starmer considers Israel-Gaza vote - reports

15:34 , Miriam Burrell

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer is considering putting his party's position on the Israel-Gaza conflict to a vote next week, according to reports.

The Commons motion would criticise Israel's conduct in the war, while stopping short of backing a ceasefire, the BBC reported, adding that the vote could be next Wednesday.

Police powers will be kept under review, says No 10

16:22 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

The Government will be keeping police powers “under review,” Downing Street has said.

Rishi Sunak maintains his view that holding a march on Armistice Day was “divisive and wrong,” No 10 said.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “We will keep police powers under review to ensure they have every tool necessary to crack down on those responsible for some of the outrageous scenes we saw at the weekend.”

Suella Braverman issues resignation letter accusing Sunak of failing to deliver key policies

16:43 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Suella Braverman has accused Rishi Sunak of having “manifestly and repeatedly failed to deliver” on key policies and said his “distinctive style of government means you are incapable of doing so”, in a stinging letter after she was asked to resign yesterday.

In her letter to the Prime Minister, Braverman accused Sunak of a “betrayal” of his promise to do “whatever it takes” to stop small boat crossings by failing to override human rights concerns about the Rwanda plan.

She claimed Rishi Sunak “never had any intention” of keeping key promises.

Suella Braverman was dismissed as Home Secretary on Monday on (REUTERS)
Suella Braverman was dismissed as Home Secretary on Monday on (REUTERS)

“You have manifestly and repeatedly failed to deliver on every single one of these key policies," she wrote.

“Either your distinctive style of government means you are incapable of doing so. Or, as I must surely conclude now, you never had any intention of keeping your promises.”

Braverman urges Sunak to 'change course urgently' in scathing letter

16:46 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Elsewhere in Mrs Braverman's three-page resignation letter, she tells Mr Sunak: “Someone needs to be honest: your plan is not working, we have endured record election defeats, your resets have failed and we are running out of time.

“You need to change course urgently.”

Read the full story here.

Read Suella Braverman's resignation letter in full

16:51 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Braverman says Prime Minister will likely fail on pledge to 'stop the boats'

17:03 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Suella Braverman has said Rishi Sunak will likely fail on his pledge to “stop the boats”, regardless of whether the Government wins or loses the impending Rwanda ruling in the Supreme Court.

The sacked home secretary wrote in her resignation letter that if they lose the Prime Minister will have “wasted a year” on the Illegal Migration Act “only to arrive back at square one”.

“Worse than this, your magical thinking – believing that you can will your way through this without upsetting polite opinion – has meant you have failed to prepare any sort of credible ‘Plan B’.”

Mrs Braverman has aimed a broadside at the Prime Minister (PA Wire)
Mrs Braverman has aimed a broadside at the Prime Minister (PA Wire)

She said she posed her own “credible” back-up plan – without which she said there is “no hope of flights this side of an election” in the event of a court defeat – but received no reply.

“I can only surmise that this is because you have no appetite for doing what is necessary, and therefore no real intention of fulfilling your pledge to the British people.”

Even in the event of a Supreme Court victory, Mrs Braverman said the Government “will struggle to deliver our Rwanda partnership in the way that the public expects”.

She said the Act is “far from secure against legal challenges” and will “leave us vulnerable to being thwarted yet again by the Strasbourg Court”.

Braverman accuses Sunak of favouring 'comfort blanket' over making tough decisions

17:32 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Suella Braverman accused Rishi Sunak of wasting time by choosing a “comfort blanket” of “wishful thinking” instead of making hard decisions in relation to the Government’s Rwanda plan.

“At every stage of litigation I cautioned you and your team against assuming we would win," she said in her letter to the Prime Minister.

"I repeatedly urged you to take legislative measures that would better secure us against the possibility of defeat. You ignored these arguments.

“You opted instead for wishful thinking as a comfort blanket to avoid having to make hard choices. This irresponsibility has wasted time and left the country in an impossible position.”

Sunak vows to tackle small boats crisis following Braverman letter

17:43 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Rishi Sunak has vowed to continue to working to tackle small boat crossings regardless of the Supreme Court verdict on his Rwanda policy, following this evening's scathing attack from sacked home secretary Suella Braverman.

A No 10 spokeswoman said: “The Prime Minister was proud to appoint a strong, united team yesterday focused on delivering for the British people.

“The Prime Minister believes in actions not words. He is proud that this government has brought forward the toughest legislation to tackle illegal migration this country has seen and has subsequently reduced the number of boat crossings by a third this year. And whatever the outcome of the Supreme Court tomorrow, he will continue that work.

“The PM thanks the former Home Secretary for her service.”

Lib Dems slam 'Conservative Party soap opera'

18:09 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Alistair Carmichael has described Mrs Braverman's attack on the Prime Minister as "yet more Conservative chaos".

“Suella Braverman failed at every task at hand as home secretary and now she seems determined to drag everyone else down with her," said Mr Carmichael.

“While people struggle to see their GP or pay their mortgages, this Government is too busy dealing with their own infighting.

“When will this Conservative Party soap opera end?”

Braverman suggests she struck deal with Sunak to help him become PM

18:56 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Suella Braverman says she struck a deal with Rishi Sunak during the leadership contest that paved the way to him becoming Prime Minister when his opponents dropped out.

In her scathing letter issued this evening following her sacking as home secretary, Mrs Braverman told Mr Sunak he had “no personal mandate” to lead the UK after losing the 2022 Conservative leadership contest to Liz Truss.

But the Leave campaigner said, despite that, she agreed to serve in his Cabinet because of “firm assurances” he gave her “on key policy priorities” after Ms Truss’s premiership quickly unravelled.

Mrs Braverman said she agreed to come back as home secretary — having been forced out by Ms Truss — on “certain conditions”.

The right-wing politician said they included a commitment to reduce net migration into Britain and efforts to tackle international blocks on deporting those who arrive across the English Channel via small boats.

Prime Minister 'quick to anger', says Nadine Dorries

19:38 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Nadine Dorries accused Rishi Sunak of being “quick to anger” as she said it was the wrong move to sack Suella Braverman.

“I don’t think it was right to sack Suella,” the former minister and MP told Sky News.

“He’s quick to anger and…that mask often slips…it’s just an irritability that you see.”

Ms Dorries resigned from her Mid-Bedfordshire seat in August. In her resignation letter, she accused Rishi Sunak of abandoning “the fundamental principles of Conservatism" and said “history will not judge you kindly".