Suella Braverman has resigned from Liz Truss’s government after sending an official document from her personal email – and has taken aim at the prime minister as she departed the Home Office.
In her resignation letter sent to the PM on Wednesday, the now former home secretary acknowledged she had breached government security rules, stating: “I have made a mistake; I accept responsibility; I resign.”
The former Conservative leadership candidate also expressed “concerns about the direction of this government”.
“Not only have we broken key pledges that were promised to our voters, but I have had serious concerns about this government’s commitment to honouring manifesto commitments, such as reducing overall migration numbers and stopping illegal migration, particularly the dangerous small boats crossings,” Ms Braverman wrote.
Downing Street later confirmed that former transport secretary Grant Shapps has been appointed as home secretary.
Speaking outside the Home Office after his appointment, Mr Shapps acknowledged the “turbulent time for the government” and said he is looking forward to getting on with his new job “regardless of what’s happening otherwise in Westminster”.
Ms Braverman also emphasised in her letter to Ms Truss that “resignation is the right thing to do” when “a mistake” is made.
Her comments come as Ms Truss battles to cling on to the keys to Number 10, with a growing number of her own Conservative MPs calling for her to quit.
At Prime Minister’s Questions earlier on Wednesday, the PM made a public apology to MPs in her first Commons appearance since her economic plan was ditched by new Chancellor Jeremy Hunt on Monday.
“I have been very clear that I am sorry and that I have made mistakes,” she said.
“The right thing to do in those circumstances is to make changes, which I have made, and to get on with the job and deliver for the British people.”
In her resignation letter, Ms Braverman said: “Earlier today, I sent an official document from my personal email to a trusted parliamentary colleague as part of policy engagement, and with the aim of garnering support for government policy on migration.
“This constitutes a technical infringement of the rules.”
Noting that it is “right for me to go”, she continued: “As soon as I realised my mistake, I rapidly reported this on official channels, and informed the cabinet secretary.
“As home secretary I hold myself to the highest standards and my resignation is the right thing to do.”
She added: “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.”
Responding to Ms Braverman’s letter, the PM said: “I accept your resignation and respect the decision you have made. It is important that the ministerial code is upheld, and that cabinet confidentiality is respected.”
Northern Ireland minister Steve Baker, who backed Ms Braverman in the summer Conservative leadership race, told Sky News he hopes the PM will bring her back into a cabinet role “in the New Year”.
Ms Braverman was only appointed by Ms Truss 43 days ago when she became PM in early September.
Her shock cabinet departure follows the sacking of chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng last Friday.
The prime minister made a last-minute cancellation of a trip out of Westminster on Wednesday.
Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said the government is “falling apart at the seams”
“To appoint and then sack both your home secretary and chancellor within six weeks is utter chaos. This is no way to run a government,” Ms Cooper said.
She continued: “The problems go beyond one home secretary. If the Conservatives can’t even manage the basics they need to get out of the way and hand over to people who can.”
The Liberal Democrats described Ms Braverman’s exit as the latest in a “carousel of Conservative chaos”.