Suella Braverman’s reappointment as Home Secretary, days after quitting over an alleged breach of the ministerial code, had nothing to do with her support for Rishi Sunak, a cabinet minister has claimed.

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly denied allegations that the return of Ms Braverman, who quit on October 19, came in exchange for her endorsement of Mr Sunak in the Tory leadership contest.

“He didn’t need any particular endorsements because it was so clear that the parliamentary party wanted him at the helm,” Mr Cleverly, who retained his job at the Foreign Office in Mr Sunak’s reshuffle, told Sky News.

Suella made a mistake. She has said herself that she made a mistake. She’s apologised for that mistake and she stood down at the time.

Bournemouth Echo:

“But ultimately, she has, I think, got very very clear ideas about how we improve the performance of the Home Office, both in terms of border control, policing, how we make sure we crack down on crime. She’s very passionate about that and got a very clear agenda for that.

“It’s clear that the Prime Minister wanted to see that delivered.”

However, opposition MPs said Ms Braverman's reappointment “tells you everything that you need to know about this Government”.

Shadow education secretary Bridget Phillipson told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “One moment Rishi Sunak is telling us he will lead a Government of integrity, and then another minute he’s appointing someone back into the Cabinet who’d been sacked only the week before for a serious breach of security and a potential breach of the ministerial code.

“It was a grubby deal that he struck in order to get over the line and become Prime Minister.

“We end up in this bizarre position where all we’re talking about is what’s right for the Conservative Party and how they keep themselves united.

“I want us to be thinking about how we deliver a better Britain for the country. This should be about the future of our country, not the future of the Conservative Party.”

Asked about keeping his own job as Foreign Secretary, Mr Cleverly said the new Prime Minister wanted “continuity”, adding he was “absolutely delighted to stay in the role”.

Mr Cleverly also discussed his support of Boris Johnson in the Tory leadership contest, telling Sky News: “I was disappointed he didn’t put himself forward.

“But ultimately, it was becoming clear even on the Sunday, Monday, it was becoming increasingly clear that the parliamentary party overwhelmingly wanted to see Rishi Sunak at the helm.

“We absolutely respect that. Rishi is an experienced, thoughtful and energetic politician, and I’m very, very happy to serve in his Government.”