John Glen, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, is hotly tipped to replace him…reports Asian Lite News
Rishi Sunak is under growing pressure to sack Suella Braverman in his upcoming reshuffle as both main party leaders prepare for an autumn relaunch.
Conservative MPs believe the Home Secretary may be in the firing line when the Prime Minister changes his Cabinet team in a shuffle expected to take place at the start of September.
The Tory leader and many of his backbenchers have been cheered by signs the economy may finally be turning around and are hoping to shift into election mode with the nation likely to go to the polls in just over a year from now.
For both Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer, a reshuffle in the coming weeks may be the final chance to ensure they have the front bench they want to take into the election.
The Prime Minister is weighing up the future of experienced ministers such as Michael Gove, Grant Shapps and Steve Barclay – all allies of his but figures who are seen by some as belonging to the past rather than the future. Gove, well known for his policy credentials but also his love of political scheming, is said by some colleagues to be eyeing up a move to one of the “great offices of state” such as Home Secretary or Foreign Secretary as one last big job.
The only obvious vacancy is at the Ministry of Defence, where Ben Wallace has confirmed he will step down shortly before leaving politics altogether at the next election. John Glen, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, is hotly tipped to replace him.
But Tory insiders say it is increasingly likely that the Home Office will also fall vacant, claiming that those around Sunak are frustrated with Braverman’s divisive rhetoric and failure to slash the number of asylum seekers crossing the English Channel in dangerous small boats – with the latest PR disaster being the evacuation of migrants from an accommodation barge where the bacteria legionella was found.
“The chatter is Suella will go”, one MP told i. “She hasn’t fully delivered, we’ve got the Illegal Migration Act through now, and need gentler hands.” Another added: “Braverman has got to go, she is shit. All of this right-wing nonsense is just playing into Labour’s hands.”
Another Tory insider claimed ministers were “trying to blame each other post the barge fiasco”, adding: “A couple of MPs who are normally supportive of Suella have said if she can’t deliver then she should go.
“But No 10 are basically worried she’ll machine gun them for the next six months in the run up to the election, which she will. She would lead the charge on quitting the ECHR [the European Convention on Human Rights], which would be a nightmare”.
A former Cabinet minister said of Sunak: “Whether he feels politically strong enough to get rid of the likes of Braverman, I don’t know – but that is what I would do. This is his opportunity to get the Cabinet he actually wants.”
Friends of Braverman insist there is no chance she will be fired or demoted, while a spokesperson for No 10 refused to comment on the possible outcome of the reshuffle.
But whatever her fate, many MPs see the shuffle as Sunak’s golden opportunity to reshape the top of the party for electoral success. “Tories don’t get elected on touchy-feely stuff, they get elected on competence,” one said. “We are not showing the competence, we are not showing the vision. He has got to start promoting competence. You can’t be having a government made up of fashion statements.” The MP called for “Red Wall dickheads” such as deputy chairman Lee Anderson who are “playing to the Farage wing of the party” to lose their jobs – not least to give them a chance to focus on trying to keep their own seats.