The British government has prepared for a difficult weekend.
Rishi Sunak is a Prime Minister whose grip on power appears to slip at each turn. He is also a leader in crisis who seems to struggle with crises.
The UK will celebrate Armistice Day on Saturday. This is the day that commemorates the de facto end of World War I. Pro-Palestinian demonstrators will also march through central London on Saturday to demand a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. The march will conclude outside the US Embassy in south London.
Sunak had a desire to stop this march because he was afraid that protesters might vandalize Cenotaph in central London, a monument dedicated to those who lost their lives during war.
Remembrance Sunday is an annual event in Britain that takes place the second Sunday of November. The Cenotaph, the centerpiece for the day, is always the Cenotaph. Each living UK prime minister, as well as other senior politicians and members of the Royal Family, places a wreath on the monument.
The Cenotaph means a great deal to the British people. In the past it has been vandalized by protesters from all walks of life, which is something that offends many.
What does this have to do with Sunak's government?
Sunak wanted the protest to never happen. Sunak was forced to accept that the protest would take place - freedom of expression is an essential part of democracy. It is not appropriate to ban such a demonstration on Armistice Day in honor of those who gave their lives for these types of freedoms.
Sunak, while accepting that the march will go forward, has stuck to his position that choosing to protest this weekend is not only disrespectful but also offends the heartfelt gratitude we have for those who sacrificed so much to ensure that we live in freedom and security today.
Sunak also took a firm stance with the Metropolitan Police Service of London, saying that they will be held "accountable" if anything goes wrong on Saturday.
Sunak's controversial Conservative firebrand Suella Brverman, Sunak’s home secretary, then stepped in and upped the ante.
The Times of London published an article by Braverman on Thursday accusing police of bias in their handling of protesters.
Braverman asked, 'During Covid why were lockdown objectors given no quarter by the public order police, but Black Lives Matters protesters were allowed to break the rules, and were even greeted by officers kneeling?'
She then called the protesters marching through London this weekend "hate marchers" and compared those marching to support Palestinians in Gaza with those who supported Northern Irish terrorist groups in the 1970s, 1980s.
Sunak was attempting to calm down the situation ahead of the weekend, and had even gone so far as to claim that he'd been reassured by the Met's chief of police.
Keir starmer, the leader of the opposition on X, formerly known as Twitter, said that 'the PM should hold his home secretary accountable. It is cowardice to pick a fight instead of working together with the police.
Sunak's sacking of her was the main question on Friday morning's front pages of national newspapers.
Why was Braverman’s intervention unhelpful to Sunak?
It makes him appear very weak. Downing Street confirmed that it didn't sign off on the column. This is highly unusual for cabinet ministers who are bound by ministerial codes to speak as a collective government voice.
Does she try to undermine him by sabotaging his secretary? She doesn't respect his authority. Does she want to be fired? Westminster is asking all these questions. Braverman is not being discreet when she tells her party that she would like to be the leader after Sunak.
Most people assume that she is preparing for a future campaign to be the leader of the Conservative Party, appealing to her right-wing Conservative supporters.
This isn't Braverman’s first time off-script. She has given fringe Conservative events a glimpse of what her immigration policies might be (hint, it's a bit harder than Sunak).
It's not even her first controversial statement in the last seven days. Last week, she claimed that rough sleep is a "lifestyle choice." Sunak refused to reiterate her remarks or agree with them.
He is likely too weak at the moment to fire his home secretary. Sunak barely holds together a coalition of parliamentarians as the Conservative Party poll ratings are low. Sunak does not want Braverman, who is his only link to the right of the Conservative Party and gives him credibility, fully unchained.
Sunak's biggest concern is that this shows how easily any issue can be politicized, and how eager his team is to do so.
The fact that he has been openly attacked by both the opposition as well as his own party does not help his Conservative Party's struggle to have a future vision or hope after 14 years of power.