Suella Braverman announces Tory leadership bid

7 July 2022

3:41 PM

7 July 2022

3:41 PM

Boris Johnson has so far had four cabinet ministers resign and sacked one – in the form of Michael Gove. Now, another minister has come out publicly to say they will run to be a successor should there be a leadership contest. Step forward Suella Braverman.

On Wednesday evening, the Attorney General gave an interview to ITV’s Robert Peston in which she voiced her unhappiness over the Prime Minister’s behaviour in recent days. Braverman – who until now was viewed as a staunch Johnson loyalist – said there was an overwhelming sense of despair among MPs so ‘the time has come for the Prime Minister to step down’. Given she is one of many to say that, it wasn’t necessarily headline news.

But what came after was striking, When asked by Peston whether she would consider running for leader, Braverman said:

‘Yes. If there is a leadership contest, I will put my name into the ring. I love this country. My parents came here with absolutely nothing and it was Britain that gave them hope, security and opportunity and afforded me incredible opportunities in education and my career. I owe a debt of gratitude to this country and to serve as prime minister would be the greatest honour so yes I will try.’

Extraordinary moment.

A cabinet minister – Suella Braverman, Attorney General – has just announced she wants to be the next PM live on television. And spelled out her pitch.

The gun has well and truly be fired on the public race to replace Boris.

— Ben Riley-Smith (@benrileysmith) July 6, 2022

Braverman isn’t currently viewed as a frontrunner. In fact, the Brexiteer’s name has only really come up in conversations about the leadership race in the last few days. However, her candidacy points to three things.

First, how even Johnson’s most loyal ministers are losing faith in their leader. Second, how the European Research Group’s support could see a candidate like Braverman at the very least shape the debate when it comes to a contest. And finally, how wide-ranging and unpredictable any contest will be.

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