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UK interior minister quits over security issue with veiled criticism of Truss

Britain’s Home Secretary (interior minister) resigned on Wednesday over technical breach of government rules, leaving with a thinly-veiled criticism of Prime Minister Liz Truss who is fighting to reassert her authority over a restive party and lawmakers who are openly calling for her to quit.

The departure of Braverman, over security issues, means Truss has now lost two of her most senior ministers in less than a week.

Truss had sought to reset her premiership earlier on Wednesday after being forced to scrap economic plans that included unfunded tax cuts that spooked financial markets. The market turmoil saw her sack her finance minister after only weeks in office and dump the economic policies that had helped her win the Conservative Party leadership race and the premiership.

Asked by the leader of the main opposition Labour Party, Keir Starmer, why she should remain in power, she said, “I am a fighter and not a quitter.” But just hours later, reports swirled that her Home Secretary had gone, raising concerns that Braverman was leaving office in protest at Truss.

Braverman later said she had sent an official document from her personal email to a parliamentary colleague, adding that this marked “a technical infringement of the rules” and that it was therefore “right for me to go”.

My letter to the Prime Minister.

— Suella Braverman MP (@SuellaBraverman) October 19, 2022

In the resignation letter, which contrasted her actions with those of Truss, Braverman wrote, “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.”

Earlier, Truss faced a raucous prime minister’s questions session in parliament for the first time since new finance minister Jeremy Hunt scrapped most of her tax-cutting plan.

“I have been very clear that I am sorry, and I have made mistakes,” Truss told jeering opposition lawmakers in parliament. “I am somebody who’s prepared to front up. I’m prepared to take the tough decisions.”

Conservative lawmaker William Wragg said he had submitted a letter of no confidence to the Prime Minister, joining a handful of others who have called for her to go. Wragg said he was “ashamed” of facing voters after the so-called mini-budget.

Truss also faces a potential challenge later on Wednesday, when lawmakers vote on a motion brought by the main opposition party to overturn her pledge to reintroduce fracking, a vote being treated as a test of confidence in the government.

Paul Goodman, the editor of Tory grassroots website Conservative Home, reports that the outgoing home secretary had a row with Downing St about migration policy.

In a tweet, Goodman says Braverman was under pressure from No 10 to announce a “liberalising migration plan that would make it easier for the OBR (Office for Budget Responsibility) to say the government would hit its growth target”.

Understand that the background to the @SuellaBraverman resignation was the mother of all rows about migration. Told she was under pressure from Number Ten to announce liberalising migration plan which would make it easier for OBR to say Gvt would hit growth target.

— Paul Goodman (@PaulGoodmanCH) October 19, 2022

Grant Shapps is set to replace Suella Braverman. The former Secretary of State for Transport announced his campaign for leadership of the Conservative Party, following the resignation of Boris Johnson, in early july. He withdrew from the race three days later endorsing Truss’ electoral opponent Rishi Sunak for leader.

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