Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is coming under growing pressure from the Tory right after he sacked Suella Braverman as Home Secretary for claiming in an article that the police are biassed in favour of left-wing protestors.
As part of a wide-ranging reshuffle, Sunak replaced Braverman with former Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, who in turn has been replaced with former PM David - now Lord - Cameron.
Relations between Braverman and Sunak had grown increasingly strained, with the focus of the rift her increasingly critical attitude to the policing of the anti-Israel protests in London and elsewhere that have taken place each week since the October 7 terrorist attacks.
Dubbed “hate marches” by Braverman, most have featured calls for Israel’s destruction and the display of antisemitic placards and symbols.
In an article in The Times last week, which she had not cleared in advance with Downing St, Braverman claimed the police “play favourites” so that “right-wing and nationalist protesters who engage in aggression are rightly met with a stern response yet pro-Palestinian mobs displaying almost identical behaviour are largely ignored, even when clearly breaking the law.”
Tory sources say that Braverman - who is widely seen as a contender for the party leadership, should it lose the next general election - does have a base of support.
"All Suella did was call out what Tory voters already know - that the police and CPS have been constrained by wokery from acting effectively to curb the influence of antisemitism and Islamism on the streets”, said one former senior ministerial adviser. “But now the blob has won.”
However, few MPs appeared to think her departure would lead to the ousting of Sunak. “Will there be enough letters to the 1922 committee expressing no confidence in Rishi to trigger yet another leadership contest?” asked one MP. “Not a chance.”
The JC understands that Braverman intends to set out her credentials as a future leader in the coming weeks, and is likely to call several areas of government policy into question - notably, its continuing refusal to proscribe Iran’s Islamic Republic Revolutionary Guards Corps as a terrorist organisation.
As Home Secretary, it is thought that Cleverly is unlikely to make controversial statements. However, many Tories believe he will launch a review of the policing of large-scale demonstrations, and may try to introduce restrictions.
The Board of Deputies issued a statement congratulating him on his post. Its spokesperson said: “This has been a period of significant concern for British Jews, and we look forward to working with him to ensure that the Jewish community feels protected at this challenging time."
A Community Security Trust spokesperson told the JC: "Suella Braverman was a strong supporter of the Jewish community and CST and we thank her for all her help tackling antisemitism and extremism. This support is shared across government, including the new Home Secretary who has been a forthright opponent of antisemitism and ally of the community since his days on the London Assembly. We look forward to working with him to continue our shared efforts to protect British Jews from this latest upsurge in hatred."