© Reuters. British Prime Minister Liz Truss leaves Number 10 Downing Street for the Houses of Parliament, in London, Britain, October 19, 2022. REUTERS/Toby Melville
By Elizabeth Piper and Michael Holden
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s interior minister quit on Wednesday 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 a “technical” breach of government rules, 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 markets 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 interior minister, or 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”.
“I have made a mistake, I accept responsibility, I resign,” she said in a letter to the prime minister.
But she also added: “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.”
“I AM SORRY”
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.”
The prime minister was met with laughter, boos and jeers, especially when she told the opposition Labour Party it needed to grasp economic reality.
Conservative lawmaker William Wragg said he had submitted a letter of no confidence in 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 test of confidence in the government.