Liz Truss’s ill-fated tenure as British Prime Minister was engulfed in yet more chaos on Wednesday when Suella Braverman, her Home Secretary, resigned seven weeks into her role over the use of a personal email address that breached ministerial rules.
Braverman said she “sent an official document from my personal email to a trusted parliamentary colleague as party of policy engagement.”
“This constitutes a technical infringement of the rules,” she wrote in a resignation letter which was also scathing of Truss’s leadership and indicated deep fissures in the heart of her government.
“The business of government relies upon people accepting responsibility for their mistakes. Pretending we haven’t made mistakes, carrying on as if everyone can’t see that we have made them, and hoping that things will magically come right is not serious politics,” Braverman wrote in a thinly veiled critique of Truss’s numerous U-turns on taxes and public spending.
“I have concerns about the direction of this government,” Braverman said. “Not only have we broken key pledges that were promised to our voters, but I have serious concerns about this Government’s commitment to honoring manifesto commitments.”
Truss accepted Braverman’s resignation, saying “it is important that the ministerial code is upheld, and that cabinet confidentiality is respected,” she said in a letter.
Grant Shapps was appointed as Braverman’s replacement in the Home Office, Downing Street tweeted Wednesday.
The lawmaker was transport secretary under former Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and said earlier this week, during a podcast recording with comedian Matt Forde, that Truss had a “Mount Everest to climb” to remain in power, according to PA Media.
“What she needs to do is like threading the eye of a needle with the lights off,” Shapps said.
Braverman’s departure comes amid growing pressure on the beleaguered leader, whose time in Downing Street has been spectacularly derailed by a radical fiscal agenda which Truss has been forced to abandon and apologize for.
It comes five days after Truss fired her Chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, over the mini-budget, which sparked a collapse in the value of the pound and forced the Bank of England to intervene to calm markets.
And it will result in yet more turnover at the heart of Britain’s government. Truss will soon appoint the UK’s third home secretary in eight weeks, to accompany its fourth finance minister in four months.
Several Conservative British lawmakers told CNN they had “reservations” that the reason for Braverman’s resignation was limited to what she outlined in her letter – sending a draft ministerial statement from her personal email – and queried that it was a resignation offense.
One lawmaker called the official version of events “nonsense,” another called it “very unusual, if true.”
Braverman competed in the Conservative Party leadership campaign during the summer, which was eventually won by Truss. A rising star of the party’s right wing, Braverman has repeatedly pledged to reduce illegal migration to Britain and has frequently stoked culture war topics.
On Tuesday during a debate on a public order bill in Parliament, she criticized “the Guardian-reading, tofu-eating wokerati” for leading climate protests that have blocked British roads in recent months.
Truss is meanwhile in serious danger of becoming Britain’s shortest-serving leader ever, with some of her own lawmakers calling for her to resign and opinion polling indicating an electoral wipe-out for her Conservative Party.
On Wednesday, the new Home Secretary told reporters that he was ready to work on providing security to the British people despite “turbulent time” for the British government.
“I accept that government has obviously had a very difficult period,” Shapps said, adding that the new UK Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, had done “a great job of settling issues relating to that mini-budget,.”