Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Liz Truss Fires Home Secretary Hours After Being Jeered in U.K. Parliament (VIDEO)

This woman is in political trouble, man.

At the New York Times, "Britain’s prime minister dismissed Suella Braverman after an email breach. Ms. Truss was also grilled in Parliament over her repudiated budget":

LONDON — Fighting for her political survival after the collapse of her economic agenda, Prime Minister Liz Truss of Britain suffered another heavy blow on Wednesday after she was forced to fire one of her most senior cabinet ministers, the second major ouster in a six-week-old government that has tumbled into chaos.

Hours after Ms. Truss rejected demands to resign herself — “I’m a fighter and not a quitter,” she declared — the prime minister dismissed the home secretary, Suella Braverman, over a security breach involving a government document that Ms. Braverman had sent to a lawmaker in Parliament through her personal email.

Last Friday, Ms. Truss fired her chancellor of the Exchequer, Kwasi Kwarteng, who was the architect of the sweeping tax cuts that rattled financial markets and sent the British pound into a tailspin. The government’s subsequent reversal of those measures has left Ms. Truss’s grip on power into doubt — an impression deepened by Ms. Braverman’s blunt criticism of the government on her way out.

Appearing at a stormy session of prime minister’s questions in Parliament, Ms. Truss repeated her apology for the disastrous fiscal program. But she insisted that she could continue to govern despite all the turmoil.

“I had to take the decision because of the economic situation to adjust our policies,” Ms. Truss said, her obvious understatement drawing catcalls from opposition lawmakers and pained expressions from members of her own Conservative Party.

It was a brutal ordeal for Ms. Truss in only her third appearance for such questioning as prime minister. While political analysts said that the session had not produced the kind of knockout blow that would make Ms. Truss’s ouster imminent, the emergence of the news about Ms. Braverman only a few hours later exposed bitter rifts in the cabinet and a prime minister largely at the mercy of events.

Late on Wednesday, there was another eruption of chaos over a vote on whether to ban hydraulic fracking. Amid shifting instructions from Downing Street about how Conservative lawmakers should vote, tempers rose, there were reports — later contradicted by the government — that the government’s chief whip had resigned, and even accusations that some members were manhandled by senior ministers.

Ms. Braverman, a hard-liner who was hostile to moves to allow more immigrants into Britain to help boost the economy, acknowledged she was guilty of a technical breach of security rules. But in her letter of resignation to Ms. Truss, she said she had “concerns about the direction of this government,” accusing it of breaking pledges to voters and, in particular, of failing to curb immigration.

“I have made a mistake; I accept responsibility; I resign,” Ms. Braverman added in a reference some saw as an implicit rebuke to Ms. Truss, who has refused to quit despite her admission of a bigger error.

Ms. Braverman was replaced by Grant Shapps, a more centrist figure, whose appointment underscored the shift in the political balance of the cabinet away from the hard-liners who supported Ms. Truss in the leadership contest she recently won and the rising influence of the new chancellor, Jeremy Hunt.

Both men supported the former chancellor, Rishi Sunak, when he ran, unsuccessfully, against Ms. Truss, warning that her economic agenda was a fairy tale. And Mr. Shapps’s support for Mr. Sunak was the reason he was not offered a cabinet job by Ms. Truss when she came to power...

Still more.