UK PM Rishi Sunak responds to opposition criticism over Braverman’s return as home secretary

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NEW DELHI: UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Wednesday came out in staunch defence of Suella Braverman after bringing her back as the home secretary in his cabinet.
Braverman, 42, resigned from the Cabinet of former prime minister Liz Truss last week after breaching the ministerial code by sending secure information from her private email. The Indian-origin leader was reappointed by Sunak on Tuesday.
Her scathing resignation letter precipitated Liz Truss’ exit from Downing Street last week. She is a fellow Bexiteer like Sunak.
On his first full day as Prime Minister, Sunak met his new Cabinet on Wednesday before facing opposition leader Keir Starmer in Prime Minister Questions (PMQs) in the House of Commons.
Labour Party leader Keir Starmer initially welcomed Sunak saying that it’s a reminder that “Britain is a place where people of all races and beliefs can fulfil their dreams”.
Then Starmer asked Sunak: “Was the home secretary right to resign last week for a breach of security?”
He noted that Sunak has promised to govern with “integrity, professionalism and accountability”, but points out that he has put in charge of the Home Office a woman forced to leave her job just a week ago.
“Have officials raised concerns about his decision to appoint her?” Starmer asked Sunak.
Sunak then responded by thanking Starmer for his kind and generous welcome, adding that he knows they will no doubt have “robust exchanges”.
On the issue of the re-appointment of Braverman as home secretary, Sunak said she made “an error of judgement,” but she had recognised that.
He said that he is delighted to welcome her back into a “united” cabinet that brings “experience and stability to the heart of government”.
Labour Party’s shadow education secretary Bridget Phillipson called Braverman’s re-appointment the result of a “grubby deal” which helped Sunak “get over the line and become Prime Minister”.
The Liberal Democrats called for a Cabinet Office probe into Braverman’s re-appointment.
Notably, Braverman is an outspoken critic of Truss’s economic policy and came out in support of Sunak in the run-up to his election last week.
In her resignation letter, she had raised concerns about the direction of Truss’s government.
(With inputs from PTI)

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