British media reports said the “chief whip” responsible for group discipline and his deputy resigned in protest at the sudden departure from uniform voting behavior for Tory MPs initially demanded by the government. Downing Street was eventually forced to take the unusual step of the evening, issuing a statement clarifying that the two whips were still “in office”.
After the vote, opposition Labor MP Chris Bryant called for a formal investigation. Ahead of the vote, he found that Tory MPs in Parliament had been heavily harassed and pressured, Bryant said.
Braverman goes with a radical
Braverman, known as a domestic political hardliner, had previously justified his resignation in a letter saying he used his personal e-mail address for official e-mail. At the same time, he noted “serious concerns” about the Truss government’s policies. Important promises to voters have been broken, and he “has great concerns about this administration’s commitment to our election manifesto, such as limiting the total number of immigrants and ending illegal immigration, particularly dangerous boat crossings,” Braverman wrote.
The former home minister is an extreme right winger of the party. He has made a name for himself by repeatedly making statements about his plans for a tougher approach to deportation. He recently railed against “tofu-eating” leftists in Parliament.
The Home Minister has been transferred
Braverman’s replacement has already been found: The new interior secretary will be former transportation secretary Grant Shapps. Downing Street made the announcement via the Twitter news service on Wednesday evening. Truss loses second cabinet member in as many days.
Shapps is considered moderate
Shapps, 54, supported Truss’ rival Rishi Sunak in the cross-party election campaign to succeed former prime minister Boris Johnson. He was previously Transport Secretary in Boris Johnson’s cabinet. He is considered an experienced minister and a reliable communicator.
Both Shapps and Hunt belong to the more moderate sections of the Tory Party. His appointment is therefore seen as an attempt by Truss, who has come under heavy pressure, to rally a larger section of the party behind him.
According to the poll, the Conservatives are about 30 percentage points behind the opposition Labor Party. At research firm YouGov, Truss is the most unpopular head of government since the survey began.