Rishi Sunak brought Suella Braverman back into the Cabinet in a bid to unify the warring factions of the Tory party. (Photo: Getty Images)
Keir Starmer has accused Rishi Sunak of doing a “grubby deal” to reappoint Suella Braverman as home secretary just days after she was forced out of the job.
Braverman resigned from Liz Truss’s government just days ago after she admitted breaching security rules by sending an official government document from her personal phone.
Both Labour and the Lib Dems have called for an investigation into her appointment citing concerns about national security.
During the leadership contest Braverman swung behind Sunak in what was seen as a blow to Boris Johnson’s hopes of staging a comeback to No.10.
Asked at his first prime minister’s questions whether Braverman had been right to resign, Sunak responded by acknowledging that she had “made an error of judgment” but that she had “recognised that...and she accepted her mistake”.
“That’s why I was delighted to welcome her back into a united Cabinet that brings experience and stability to the heart of government.”
The Labour leader hit back by reminding Sunak that he promised to lead a government of “integrity, professionalism and accountability”.
“But then with his first act, he appointed a home secretary who was sacked by his predecessor a week ago for deliberately pinging around sensitive home office documents from her personal account,” Starmer said.
“We can all see what’s happened here. He’s so weak he’s done a grubby deal, threatening national security because he was scared to lose another leadership election.
“There’s a new Tory at the top, but as always with them, it’s party first, country second.”
Starmer then went on to quiz Sunak about whether any officials had raised concerns about his decision to reappoint her — something Sunak did not deny.
“Mr Speaker I just addressed the issue with the home secretary.
“He talked about fighting crime, I would hope that he would welcome the news today that there are over 15,000 new police officers on our streets and the home secretary will be supporting them to tackle burglaries, while the party opposite will be backing the lunatic protesting fringe that are stopping working people going about their lives.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.