British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak dismissed Home Secretary Suella Braverman, who sparked outrage by accusing police of being too lenient with pro-Palestinian protesters.
The government said Braverman had left his position as part of a cabinet reshuffle on Monday. She was replaced by James Cleverly, who was previously Foreign Secretary.
In a highly unusual move, former Prime Minister David Cameron was appointed Foreign Secretary. It is unusual for a former president, and a person without a parliamentary seat, to hold a high-level position in the government. The government said Cameron would be appointed to the non-elective chamber of Parliament, the House of Lords.
Braverman said that “serving as Secretary of the Interior has been the greatest privilege of my life” and that she would have “more to say in due course.”
Sunak was under increasing pressure to fire Braverman, a divisive person popular with the authoritarian wing of the country’s ruling Conservative Party.
In a highly unusual attack on police, Braverman said last week that London police were ignoring crimes by “pro-Palestinian mobs.” He described the demonstrations calling for a ceasefire in Gaza as “hate marches.”
Far-right protesters clashed with police on Saturday and tried to confront a large pro-Palestinian march of hundreds of thousands of people that toured the streets of London. Critics accused Braverman of helping to stoke tensions.
Braverman published an article for the Times of London last week in which he said the police “play favorites when it comes to protests” and had been more lenient with pro-Palestinian and Black Lives Matter protesters than with conservative protesters or football hooligans.
The article was not approved in advance by the prime minister’s office, as would be usual.