Suella Braverman attacks Progress Pride flag as she blames 'liberal' Tories for election defeat

9 July 2024, 23:31

Ms Braverman attacked the flag at the National Conservatism conference in Washington DC on Monday
Ms Braverman attacked the flag at the National Conservatism conference in Washington DC on Monday. Picture: Alamy

By Will Conroy

Suella Braverman has attacked the Progress Pride flag and described it as "a symbol of our failure as Conservatives".

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The former home secretary has criticised the outgoing Tory government for flying the flag, which represents the LGBT+ community, and accused them of allowing children to transition to a different gender.

Speaking at the National Conservatism conference in Washington DC on Monday, she said: "Far, far too many Tory politicians agree, and still agree, that the Progress flag must be flown to be kind, to be inclusive.

"It shows how liberal and progressive we are, and that's what many Conservatives want to be.

"The Progress flag says to me, it says to me one monstrous thing: That I was a member of a government that presided over the mutilation of children in our hospitals and from our schools."

The Progress Pride flag, The European Union (EU) flag and British Union flag at London City Hall
The Progress Pride flag, The European Union (EU) flag and British Union flag at London City Hall. Picture: Alamy

Ms Braverman, who is a likely candidate to replace former Prime Minister Rishi Sunak as party leader, was applauded by the audience at the conference.

The former home secretary also reportedly called the Progress Pride flag part of "a horrible political campaign" and said it was a failure that she didn't have it removed from government buildings.

She added that she was "physically repulsed" the that her party claimed they "were doing something about trans fanatics when, in fact, what we did was let it happen".

Ms Braverman reiterated these views Tuesday, writing on X: "The Progress flag represents the highly contested view that people, including children, can change their sex.

"I disagree with that view.

"Yet the Progress flag is flown on government buildings, by the police, NHS and armed forces.

"It's a symbol of our failure as Conservatives."

Suella Braverman attacked the pride flag at the conference in Washington DC
Suella Braverman attacked the pride flag at the conference in Washington DC. Picture: Alamy

This comes as Ms Braverman's Tory leadership bid was described as being "over before it started" after several of her key former allies backed Robert Jenrick.

Veteran Tory Sir John Hayes has decided to back Robert Jenrick, the former immigration minister, after previously he previously supported Ms Braverman's 2022 leadership campaign, The Sun reports.

This follows the decision by Danny Kruger, co-chair of the New Conservatives, to also jump ship to team Jenrick after previously backing Braverman's campaign.

Ms Braverman has been one of the most vocal Tory MPs to speak out after her party slumped to just 121 seats in last week's General Election.

Former Home Secretary Suella Braverman
Former Home Secretary Suella Braverman. Picture: Getty

Speaking immediately after she was re-elected in Fareham and Waterlooville on Thursday, Ms Braverman apologised for the Tories' "failure" over the last 14 years.

She also accused many Tories of being "liberals", which she blames for the election defeat.

Read More: Tories 'deserve' landslide defeat because of Sunak's 'idiotic strategy' that 'took voters for mugs', Braverman says

Read More: Who is left to lead the Tory party? Badenoch and Braverman among favourites to become new leader

Ms Braverman even described Mr Jenrick, who has previously said he would leave the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), a "Remainer from the left-wing of the Conservative Party".

"Far, far too many Tory politicians agree, and still agree, that the Progress flag must be flown to be kind, to be inclusive," the former Home Secretary told the National Conservatism conference in Washington DC.

"It shows how liberal and progressive we are, and that's what many Conservatives want to be.

"The Progress flag says to me, it says to me one monstrous thing: That I was a member of a government that presided over the mutilation of children in our hospitals and from our schools."

Tom Swarbrick can't contain his laughter as Henry Riley gives the lowdown on the Popular Conservatism event

Her speech has caused controversy across the political spectrum, with many describing her as being "too divisive" to be Tory leader.

That includes the former Tory MP Jonathan Gullis, who told Times Radio: “I am abundantly clear that I do not think Suella Braverman is the right person.”

The former Tory deputy chairman said Ms Braverman is too “explosive” and “divisive”.

Former Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch
Former Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch. Picture: Getty

Kemi Badenoch is widely considered to be one of the favourites to take over as Tory party leader.

The Tories had feared losing her seat, especially given the chaos surrounding postal votes, but she kept it by nearly 3,000 seats.

A number of Tory candidates began planning their leadership pitched during the election campaigns, including Badenoch, who set up the website 'kemi4leader'.

Some of the key issues Badenoch would likely fight her campaign on include Brexit, women's rights, and gender ideology.

Former Home Secretary Priti Patel is another leadership hopeful
Former Home Secretary Priti Patel is another leadership hopeful. Picture: Getty

Priti Patel is another senior Tory reportedly considering throwing her hat into the ring after holding onto her seat in Witham, Essex.

Despite having some hardline stances on Brexit and immigration, she is understood to be attracting support from the 'One Nation' side of the Tory party.

There has even been talk she would only stand as an interim leader to stabilise the party.

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