Suella Braverman’s Tory leadership bid ‘over before it started’ as key allies back Robert Jenrick

9 July 2024, 18:08

Suella Braverman has been making leadership moves since before the Tories' General Election defeat
Suella Braverman has been making leadership moves since before the Tories' General Election defeat. Picture: Getty
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Suella Braverman's Tory leadership bid has been described as being "over before it started" after several of her key former allies backed Robert Jenrick.

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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.

And on Monday evening, Ms Braverman gave a controversial speech to the National Conservatism movement in which she decried government department's displaying the LGBTQ+ Progress flag.

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”.

Who else is left to lead the Tory party?

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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