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UK PM hits inflation target amid Suella Braverman's scathing attack

“We have halved inflation, meeting the priority I set out in January,” said Sunak in a statement.

UK PM hits inflation target amid Suella Bravermans scathing attack

UK PM Rishi Sunak (Reuters)

LONDON: British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak appeared buoyant on Wednesday as official statistics revealed that inflation dropped to 4.6 per cent, meeting his end-of-year target to curb price rises against the backdrop of his sacked Home Secretary’s attack claiming his “plan is not working”.

The target to half inflation from the highs of over 10 per cent when he took charge at 10 Downing Street last year was among Sunak’s top five priorities for his government.

The British Indian leader, who undertook a surprise Cabinet reshuffle earlier this week starting by sacking Suella Braverman for repeated insubordination, firmly declared that he will “stay the course” a day after his former Cabinet minister unleashed a scathing attack on his leadership in a very public three-page letter.

“We have halved inflation, meeting the priority I set out in January,” said Sunak in a statement.

“It's involved hard decisions and fiscal discipline, rejecting calls for higher spending and more borrowing. As many people continue to struggle, we must stay the course to get inflation all the way back down,” he said.

It came as there remains disquiet within the ranks of the governing Conservative Party, with murmurings of a leadership challenge gaining some momentum with Braverman accusing Sunak of “betrayal” of the party’s pledges to the British electorate.

As was expected, the Indian-origin minister intends to make life very difficult for her former boss from the backbenches, and with the support of some on the very right of the party, after he sacked her with a Monday morning phone call.

“Someone needs to be honest: your plan is not working, we have endured record election defeats, your resets have failed and we are running out of time. You need to change course urgently,” reads her excoriating departure letter.

Accusing him of ignoring her many letters on issues such as illegal migration and clamping down on so-called “hate marchers” protesting against the Israel-Hamas conflict, the controversy courting former minister claimed Sunak had reneged on written promises he had made to her at the time of taking over as Prime Minister in October 2022 – even claiming her support was the "pivotal factor" behind him succeeding Liz Truss.

“You have manifestly and repeatedly failed to deliver on every single one of these key policies. Either your distinctive style of government means you are incapable of doing so. Or, as I must surely conclude now, you never had any intention of keeping your promises,” Braverman writes.

“I can only surmise that this is because you have no appetite for doing what is necessary, and therefore no real intention of fulfilling your pledge to the British people,” she adds.

In response, Sunak’s spokesperson at 10 Downing Street simply responded by thanking Braverman for her service and welcoming the new faces in his reshuffled Cabinet, including former prime minister David Cameron as the new Foreign Secretary.

"The Prime Minister was proud to appoint a strong, united team focused on delivering for the British people," the spokesperson said.

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