Braverman says Conservatives will be lucky to have any MPs left after next election in blistering attack against Sunak

5 May 2024, 12:44 | Updated: 5 May 2024, 14:05

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and former Home Secretary Suella Braverman
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and former Home Secretary Suella Braverman. Picture: Getty/Alamy

By Will Conroy

Suella Braverman has said Rishi Sunak must “own” the Tories' “terrible” local election results and “change course” to get the Conservative party back on track.

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The former home secretary said the party would be “lucky” to have any MPs left by the general election, which is expected to take place by the end of the year if the Prime Minister does not change his approach.

After the Conservatives lost over 470 councillors in the local elections and lost 10 out of 11 mayoral contests, Mrs Braverman said a Labour government is likely and it is a prospect that fills her with “horror”.

She added that she regretted supporting Mr Sunak in his bid for party leadership claiming he had failed to deliver on certain promises but said it would not be “feasible” for the party to change leadership at this stage.

Suella Braverman says she regrets supporting Rishi Sunak's leadership bid
Suella Braverman says she regrets supporting Rishi Sunak's leadership bid. Picture: Alamy

Speaking to Laura Kuenssberg, Ms Braverman said many of her colleagues are “privately demoralised and incredibly concerned about their prospects”.

“At this rate, we’ll be lucky to have any Conservative MPs at the next election, and we need to fight.”

Asked if she regretted supporting Mr Sunak’s bid for party leadership, she said: “Honestly, yes I do.

“Because I had assurances from Rishi Sunak that he was going to put a cap on legal migration, that he was going to do something about the European Convention on Human Rights, that he was going to fix this transgender ideology in our schools. He hasn’t done that.”

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She said Conservative voters are currently “on strike” in protest at Mr Sunak’s policies, urging him to move more towards the Right with more tax cuts and a cap on legal migration.

She said: “The plan is not working and I despair at these terrible results. There is no spinning these results, there is no disguising the fact that these have been terrible election results for the Conservatives and they suggest that we are heading to a Labour government and that fills me with horror.

“I love my country, I care about my party and I want us to win, and I am urging the Prime Minister to change course, to with humility reflect on what the voters are telling us, and change the plan and the way that he is communicating and leading us.”

The Conservative party had particularly disappointing results in the West Midlands mayoral contest where Andy Street was defeated by Labour’s Richard Parker and in the Blackpool South by-election where they also suffered defeat after a swing of 26% from the Tories to Labour.

Asked about whether she wanted to see a change in leader, Mrs Braverman said: “I just don’t think that is a feasible prospect right now, we don’t have enough time and it is impossible for anyone new to come and change our fortunes to be honest.

“Rishi Sunak has been leading us for about 18 months, he has been making these decisions, these are consequences of those decisions. He needs to own this, and therefore he needs to fix it.”

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