Immigration minister Robert Jenrick praised his former boss Suella Braverman as a “good” Home Secretary, days after she was dramatically fired by Rishi Sunak.
Mrs Braverman responded to her sacking with an extraordinary attack on the Prime Minister, amid right-wing anger over the return of David Cameron and a perceived shift to the centre by Mr Sunak.
But Mr Jenrick, who has a new boss in James Cleverly, had warmer words for Mrs Braverman on Wednesday.
Speaking to ITV’s Peston programme, he said: “Suella and I occasionally had stylistic differences, but we were always united on the policy and our determination to stop the boats.”
“She was someone who was extremely hard working, passionate and she spoke for millions of people across the country.”
He added: “I think she was a good Home Secretary and I think James Cleverly will be as well.”
In an inflammatory letter to the Prime Minister on Tuesday, Mrs Braverman – whose leadership ambitions are no secret – issued a rallying cry to the party’s right with a call for an “authentic conservative agenda”.
The former minister also claimed she had agreed a deal to back Mr Sunak and serve as home secretary “on certain conditions”, such as introducing measures to override the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the Human Rights Act (HRA) in legislation to stop small boats crossing the Channel.
Mr Jenrick, who kept his job in the reshuffle, insisted that ministers were working towards getting flights to Rwanda by next spring after the Supreme Court declared the landmark policy unlawful.