Grant Shapps is the new home secretary following the shock resignation of Suella Braverman, in a remarkable return to the top of government.
Only weeks ago, the former transport secretary was organising a rebellion against Liz Truss and warning that she had just weeks to prove she should survive in No 10.
But Ms Truss has now turned to Mr Shapps – a rumoured master of assessing looming threats of party revolts – in a bid to steady her collapsing government.
Ms Braverman resigned after a ‘technical infringement of the rules” after using her private email to send a colleague a draft ministerial statement about changes to immigration.
The departure over an apparently minor offence is widely seen as a ruse by the prime minister to force out a woman who was fighting her bid to relax immigration rules
Yvette Cooper, Labour’s shadow home secretary, tweeted: “Utter chaos. The Tory Government is falling apart at the seams.”
The appointment of Mr Shapps marks another extraordinary shift away from the right-wing agenda on which Ms Truss seized the Tory leadership, following the choice of Jeremy Hunt as chancellor.
But it appeared unlikely to provide more than fleeting stability to a Conservative party riven by splits and disagreements – and facing another make-or-break “budget” in 12 days’ time.
In a stinging resignation letter, Ms Braverman hinted the prime minister should follow here out of the door, writing: “I have made a mistake; I accept responsibility; I resign.”
The former home secretary laid bare her split with No 10 over immigration and other issues, saying she had “concerns about the direction of this government”.
Ms Braverman wrote: “The business of government relies upon people accepting responsibility for their mistakes.
“Pretending we haven’t made mistakes, carrying on as if everyone can’t see that we have made them, and hoping that things will magically come right is not serious politics.”