James Cleverly steps into Suella Braverman's shoes as Home Secretary
James Cleverly steps into Suella Braverman’s shoes as Home Secretary amid furious Tory row over pro-Palestine protests, with Rwanda migrant decision looming
James Cleverly stepped into the Home Office hot seat vacated by Suella Braverman today as the Prime Minister tries to instill calm in the Conservative Party.
Mr Cleverly, the former foreign secretary, is very popular with the Tory grassroots and is seen as a safe pair of hands.
But the former Army reservist is going to need more than one pair of hands as he juggles multiple issues as Home Secretary.
The 54-year-old will need to douse the flames of anger caused by Ms Braverman’s incendiary remarks about ‘hate marches’ and suggestions that people live rough on the streets as a lifestyle choice.
And on Wednesday the Supreme Court is expected to hand down its verdict on whether the UK’s plan to send Channel boat migrants to Rwanda is lawful.
Mr Cleverly, the former foreign secretary , is very popular with the Tory grassroots and is seen as a safe pair of hands.
Cleverly with his wife Susannah waiting for the arrival of King Charles III and Queen Camilla at Uhuru Gardens, Nairobi, last month
Mr Cleverly is a close ally of Rishi Sunak with less trenchant views on the European Convention on Human Rights than Ms Braverman, who favours quitting the agreement if the court rules against the government.
The sacking of Ms Braverman comes after an extraordinary week of rowing over handling of pro-Palestinian protests in London on Armistice Day.
She drew the fury of No10 by lashing out at ‘hate marches’ and then penning an article accusing the police of bias without getting it cleared.
Critics have blamed her for inflaming violence with far-right counter-protesters taking to the streets – although the Tories are badly split with supporters saying the grim scenes in the capital proved her right.
Mr Cleverly is the MP for Braintree in Essex. His mother is from Sierra Leone
A senior Tory MP tipped as a future leader has pledged the party will produce the first black Prime Minister – because Labour is run by ‘old white men’.
Conservative Party deputy chairman James Cleverly, whose mother comes from Sierra Leone, sparked fresh speculation about his own ambitions by predicting the Tories would be the first party to put an ethnic-minority politician in Downing Street.
Mr Cleverly, 49, said: ‘I’m going to say yes, I reckon we’ll have the first BME [black or minority ethnicity] Prime Minister.’
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