London: British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak faced growing pressure Sunday after reappointing interior minister Suella Braverman despite her resignation over a security breach.
Sunak reinstated Braverman as Home Secretary when he became prime minister, just days after she quit predecessor Liz Truss’s short-lived government.
Opposition Labour MP Yvette Cooper on Sunday slammed Sunak’s “irresponsible” reappointment of Braverman to the position in charge of domestic security issues, also telling Sky News there were questions over possible other security breaches by Braverman.
“It really shows the huge error of judgment that Rishi Sunak has made in reappointing someone just six days after she broke the ministerial code over security lapses,” Cooper said.
“National security is too important for this kind of chaos, confusion and really irresponsible decision making.”
Cooper spoke after Labour leader Keir Starmer on Friday said Sunak should sack Braverman, calling it the “strong thing to do”.
Braverman is seen as representing the most right-wing Tory MPs. She has enthusiastically supported a plan to send migrants arriving illegally in the UK to Rwanda.
She reportedly had rowed with Truss over immigration policy but quit over a security breach: sending a sensitive document to her private email account and then forwarding it on.
Sunak has insisted that Braverman acknowledged her mistake and took responsibility.
Sunak ally Michael Gove, who has returned to the job he did under Boris Johnson’s premiership as minister for “levelling up”, defended Braverman on Sunday as a “first-rate front-rank politician”.
He told Sky News Braverman is “working hard in order to ensure that our borders can be made more secure, and that policing is more effective”.
Gove told the BBC it was his “understanding” that Braverman swiftly reported the incident in the appropriate way, while the broadcaster reported it had been shown an email from Braverman asking the recipient: “Can you delete the message and ignore?”
Gove insisted such a message would be “standard practice”.
The scandal came as the Mail on Sunday published an unconfirmed report that Truss’s personal phone was hacked by suspected Kremlin agents while she was serving as foreign minister.
Gove told Sky he did not know whether the story was true, but stressed: “We take security issues incredibly seriously”.