Grant Shapps has been appointed as the new Home Secretary, replacing Suella Braverman after her surprise resignation.
Downing Street has confirmed that the former Transport Secretary, who backed Rishi Sunak in the Conservative leadership race and has criticized some of Prime Minister Liz Truss’s policies, now heads the Home Office.
Speaking outside No 10 after his appointment, he admitted it has been “a turbulent time” for the administration, but “the most important thing is to make sure the people of this country know they have security”.
Politics Live: Braverman expresses ‘concerns’ in explosive resignation letter
He added: “That is why it is a great honor to be appointed Home Secretary today.
“I really want to get on with the job.”
Shapps declined to go into specific details about immigration, saying he will “refrain from commenting” after “10 minutes on the job.”
And he was not tempted to continue his criticism of the prime minister, saying that Chancellor Jeremy Hunt “has done a great job of solving the problems related to the mini-budget.”
Shapps had spent the Conservative Party conference earlier this month warning that Conservative MPs would not “sit on his hands” to oust Truss without improvement.
Sky’s deputy political editor Sam Coates said his appointment as home secretary was perhaps “not surprising” as he has “wreaked havoc” since Truss removed him from the cabinet.
Coates said Shapps did not take his firing “lightly” and helped coordinate the rebellion over the 45p tax rate, “the beginning of the end of that mini-budget.”
And it would be “a very good reason” to bring him back into the fold – “to remove the thorn from his side.”
Ms. Braverman was appointed to the post just 43 days ago by the new Prime Minister.
Mrs. Braverman resigned after sending an official document from your personal email in violation of government security rules.
In a fiery resignation letter that also expressed “concerns” about the direction of the government, the now-former Home Secretary said: “Pretending we haven’t made mistakes, acting like no one can see we’ve made them, and hoping things work out magically is not a serious policy”.
He added: “I have made a mistake, I accept responsibility, I resign.”
He also expressed “concerns” that the government had already “broken key promises that were promised to our voters”, and said he is concerned about “the government’s commitment” to other policies in the manifesto, including reducing the overall number of migration.
Former Tory minister says ‘enough is enough’
Braverman’s surprising departure comes as Truss fights for her political survival following the firing of Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng last Friday and the elimination of most of the government’s mini-budget on Monday by new Chancellor Jeremy Hunt.
Former Conservative minister George Freeman has vented his frustration on Twitter amid ongoing turmoil in his party.
He said: “Does the Home Secretary ‘resign’ by attacking the Prime Minister and the government program she had supported?
“The chancellor ‘resigns’ for implementing the policies that he, the prime minister and the cabinet had agreed?
“Enough is enough. The cabinet needs to get a grip, fast, to restore collective responsibility and trust.”
See Suella Braverman’s letter in full and PM’s response
Opposition parties have also attacked the prime minister.
Government ‘crumbling at the seams’
Labor Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said the government “can’t even handle the basics” after her counterpart resigned.
He said the Tory administration was “unraveling at the seams”, adding: “Appoint and then [lose] both your minister of the interior and your chancellor in six weeks is total chaos. This is no way to run a government.”
Liberal Democrats described Ms Braverman’s departure as the latest in a “carousel of conservative chaos”.
“People shouldn’t be forced to watch the Conservative party implode day after day while real people suffer,” said Lib Dem internal affairs spokesman Alistair Carmichael.
“There is a cost of living catastrophe, a health service crisis and now a Home Office aimlessly.
“The only solution now is a general election so the public can get off this carousel of conservative chaos.”