The sacking of the Home Minister Suella Braverman by the British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Monday was not unexpected as the feisty Home Minister was ignoring all the indications from the PM office for diluting her Islamophobic tone on the Israel-Hamas war which came for strong criticism even from right wing moderate Tories Her latest comment after the Saturday’s massive demonstration against the Israel’s Gaza war and in favour of the Palestinians, was the last straw. Any further tolerance by the PM of the indiscipline of his senior cabinet member, would have ruptured his authority as the Prime Minister.
By using the sacking of Braverman to make a big overhaul of his cabinet, Sunak gave a surprise by bringing the former Prime Minister David Cameron as the foreign minister. Cameron who resigned in 2015 as the PM after the Brexit referendum is known as a right moderate with good relations with both the political leaders of the western countries as also the big businesses of Europe and USA. He has his own sweet way of befriending political leaders. Sunak wants this skill of Cameron to be utilized in the next one year before the scheduled general elections by the end of 2024.
In fact, Sunak has made changes in the cabinet portfolios with an eye on the next general elections. He is running out of time. The latest local polls in Britain showed the Labour Party leading with 35 per cent of the total votes as against the Conservative Party share of 26 per cent – a gap of 9 per cent. Recent opinion polls have indicated a gap ranging between 16 and 20 per cent. There is an overriding feeling in the media and the business community that the Labour Party is forming the government after the 2024 elections. Sunak has to take appropriate actions in the next 12 months to equip his Party both organizationally and ideologically to meet the Labour challenge. The performance of the Sunak government in dealing with price rise, joblessness and immigration issue will dominate the minds of the electorate in the coming months. PM has to work to assuage the mood of the disgruntled so that even if the Tories are defeated in the next polls, the margin does not become bigger.
As far as Suella Braverman is concerned, she was prepared for the eventuality. Earlier on many occasions, she fought with the other PMs on airing in public her strong views on the immigrants as opposed to the accepted policy of the government.. She has a big base among the conservative Tories. In the recent years, this section has been most aggrieved at the influx of the immigrants to Britain from the other countries, especially the west Asian and South Asian countries. Her comments against the Indian immigrants made her unpopular among the Indian overseas community. Other South Asian diaspora like the Pakistanis, Sri Lankan and Bangladeshis were also opposed to her. But at the same time, she was becoming a favourite of the right wing Tories and the young brigade who thought that the increasing number of the presence of immigrants in Britain, was leading to joblessness of the local people.
Interestingly, Braverman has a multiple origin. Her mother is a Hindu Tamil, father a Goa-based Christian, husband a jew and she follows Buddhist practices. Among the main faiths, only Islam is missing from her family tree. That way, she belongs to a multi-religious origin. Though she is mentioned as a leader of Indian origin, she generally avoids talking about that. She does not encourage the Hindu organisations based in Britain unlike PM Sunak who publicizes his Hindu religion and attends Hindu festivals. . One thing is certain that she is against the Muslims. She abhors more muslim presence in Britain. That way, the Muslims in Britain hate her. Even she had a running battle with the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan who is of Pakistan origin and is a leading figure in Labour Party.
All political focus is now on what is the next step of this maverick far right leader of the Conservative Party Suella Braverman? The general view is that she is looking to tap this sacking issue to mobilise the far right base of the Conservative Party in her favour for future battle against the PM Rishi Sunak. Right now, the Tories lack a fiery leader like Braverman. Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson is going to join journalism again from next year. His group among the party MPs lacks any leader with that stature who can fight PM Sunak. The anti-Sunak MPs who are close to Boris may support Braverman if she finally emerges as a challenger. Sunak is leading the Conservative Party to the elections late next year. There is no possibility of leadership change during that period. The real fight will start if the Conservatives lose in the general elections. For Suella Braverman, the time to bid for Conservative Party leadership in Parliament will be then. (IPA Service)