Outspoken British lawmaker Suella Braverman launched a withering attack on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak Tuesday, urging him to change course to avoid election defeat and slamming his record on immigration and anti-Semitism.
Braverman, a favourite of the right-wing of the ruling Conservative party, fired the broadside in a three-page letter to Sunak a day after he sacked her as interior minister.
Sunak dismissed Braverman in a reshuffle of his top team on Monday after she last week accused police of left-wing bias and said homelessness was a “lifestyle choice”.
They were the latest in a growing list of controversial comments that were viewed as red meat for Tory right-wingers.
In her letter, Braverman accused Sunak of “equivocation, disregard and a lack of interest” over several policies, including cutting immigration and the teaching of gender in schools.
“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,” she added.
Braverman referenced Wednesday’s much-anticipated Supreme Court ruling on the legality of the government’s plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda.
– ‘Weak’ –
She described Sunak’s rejection of withdrawing from the European Convention on Human Rights as a way to push through the scheme a “betrayal”.
“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,” Braverman wrote.
The former interior minister — who was previously sacked from Liz Truss’s short-lived administration — also said Sunak had failed to rise to the challenge of “vicious antisemitism and extremism” in London following Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel.
She said his response to pro-Palestinian marches, including not banning them, had been “uncertain, weak and lacking in the qualities of leadership this country needs”.
Braverman — who regularly waded into so-called “culture wars” during her tenure — is reportedly positioning herself to run for the Tory leadership if Sunak is forced out after the next election.
Sunak’s reshuffle, in which he brought back ex-prime minister David Cameron from the political cold, is being seen as the UK leader ending his party’s post-Brexit lurch to the right as he tries to revive its political fortunes.
The Conservatives lag well behind the main opposition Labour party in polls ahead of a nationwide vote expected next year and have suffered several local election losses this year.
“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,” Braverman wrote.