HomeWorld NewsSuella Braverman's allies plot their next move after her sacking
Suella Braverman's allies plot their next move after her sacking
‘Suella has been sacked for speaking the truth’: Braverman’s supporters gather in Parliament to plot their next move amid calls for vote of no confidence in Rishi Sunak
Follow all the latest reshuffle developments in MailOnline’s live blog here
Suella Braverman’s allies are set to gather in Parliament tonight to discuss their ‘next steps’ following her sacking as home secretary.
Two groups on the Tory Right are expected to meet together after Rishi Sunak removed Mrs Braverman as part of a dramatic Cabinet reshuffle.
In the wake of fierce rows over her comments about rough sleepers and a pro-Palestine march on Armistice Day, Mrs Braverman has been ousted from the Home Office.
But the Prime Minister’s move to replace her with James Cleverly, the former foreign secretary, has sparked fury among Conservative backbenchers.
One former minister lamented how Mrs Braverman had been sacked for ‘speaking the truth’ on issues such as demonstrations about Israel’s conflict with Hamas.
Another suggested Mr Sunak had made the Tories’ chances of winning the next general election even harder by removing a figure who ‘understands what the country thinks’ on migration.
A grassroots Tory campaign group today urged angry MPs to submit no confidence letters in Mr Sunak over the sacking of Mrs Braverman.
Suella Braverman issued a warning to Rishi Sunak after she was sacked as Home Secretary
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak faces anger among Mrs Braverman’s supporters on the Tory Right
The Prime Minister removed Mrs Braverman from the Home Office following rows over her comments on the homeless and pro-Palestine demos, which she labelled ‘hate marches’
How could Rishi Sunak be ousted by Tory MPs?
Conservative Party rules allow MPs to force a vote of no confidence in their leader.
This would be triggered if 15 per cent of the 350-strong parliamentary party submit a letter of no confidence to Sir Graham Brady, the chair of the powerful 1922 Committee.
This means 53 MPs are currently needed to submit letters to Sir Graham.
Rishi Sunak was immune from a no confidence vote in the first year of his Tory leadership.
But he passed 12 months in the role on October 24, meaning he could now be at risk of a move against him.
If a vote is triggered, at least 50 per cent of Tory MPs must vote ‘no confidence’ in a secret ballot for the Prime Minister to lose.
Should this happen, the Tory leader would be forced to resign and barred from standing in the leadership election that follows.
If they win, they remain in office and are rewarded with a year’s immunity from another no confidence vote.
Mrs Braverman herself issued a warning shot to Mr Sunak as she vowed she would ‘have more to say’ after her removal from the top rank of Government.
Her first words this morning after her sacking suggested she would not be making a quiet return to the back benches in the House of Commons.
‘It has been the greatest privilege of my life to serve as Home Secretary,’ she said. ‘I will have more to say in due course.’
There is a threat to Mr Sunak that she will now join a growing list of his outspoken critics on the Tory back benches, which also includes former prime minister Liz Truss.
There will be concern in No10 about managing internal party tensions in the wake of the PM’s decision to remove Mrs Braverman from the Home Office.
She is highly regarded among some of her colleagues – who view her as a future Tory leader – for her hardline stance on issues such as migration.
According to reports, Tory MPs from both the Common Sense Group and New Conservatives will meet together tonight to discuss the PM’s reshuffle.
Members of both groups had been publicly supportive of Mrs Braverman last week, as she faced a backlash over a newspaper article in which she criticised the police’s handling of pro-Palestine demonstrations.
There will be worries in Downing Street that Mrs Braverman could now rally the two groups behind her and prove a thorn in the side of Mr Sunak.
Ahead of the groups’ expected meeting, former Conservative MEP David Campbell Bannerman – a strong supporter of Mrs Braverman – posted on socia media: ‘Here we go. Wheels are turning. Rishi has pressed the self destruct button.
‘MPs need to step up, get those letters in and save the party from an existential threat.’
Mr Campbell Bannerman is chairman of the grassroots Conservative Democratic Organisation (CDO), which was formed to push for an overhaul of Tory party rules following the ousting of Boris Johnson as PM.
He said in another message encouraging MPs to move against Mr Sunak through the submission of no confidence letters: ‘Suella has been sacked! Letters in please. Now’s the time.’
Lord Cruddas, president of the CDO and another ally of Mr Johnson, also expressed anger at Mr Sunak’s reshuffle.
He said: ‘The coup is complete, remain has won and democracy has lost.’
It had already been widely speculated that Mrs Braverman was using outspoken interventions while Home Secretary to position herself ahead of a future Tory leadership contest, should Mr Sunak lose the next general election.
There had even been claims she had been attempting to engineer her sacking in order to boost her appeal as a hardliner on key issues.
The weeks before her sacking saw rows over her comments on migration, the homeless and – most recently – pro-Palestine demonstrations in London, which she labelled ‘hate marches’.
It was reported prior to her sacking that Mrs Braverman was also set to create a dividing line with Mr Sunak by pushing for Britain to quit the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) if the Supreme Court blocks the Government’s Rwanda migrant plan on Wednesday.
Judges are this week set to rule on whether the proposed asylum deal is lawful with respect to the UK’s obligations under international law.
According to the Mail on Sunday, Mrs Braverman favours running a ‘Quit The ECHR’ general election campaign – similar to Boris Johnson’s 2019 ‘Get Brexit Done’ slogan – but allies of the PM said he prefers more moderate options.
Ex-business secretary Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg claimed Mr Sunak had made a ‘mistake’ by firing Mrs Braverman
MP Andrea Jenkyns claimed Mrs Braverman was fired for ‘speaking the truth’ on social media
Mrs Braverman’s sacking followed violent scenes in central London on Armistice Day as far-Right supporters attempted to get near the Cenotaph and clashed with Metropolitan Police
Mrs Braverman’s departure as home secretary means any battle between her and Mr Sunak over Britain’s membership of the ECHR will now be staged away from the Cabinet table.
The immediate reasons for her sacking by Mr Sunak appeared to be her recent description of homeless people sleeping rough as a ‘lifestyle choice’, while she also infuriated No10 with an unauthorised newspaper article on pro-Palestine demonstrations planned for Armistice Day.
She claimed the police ‘play favourites’ towards pro-Palestinian supporters – compared to those protesting other causes – but her combative words were not signed-off by Downing Street.
When the weekend saw far-Right thugs attempt to travel to the Cenotaph and clash with police, with some intent on confronting those on the pro-Palestine march, Mrs Braverman was accused of having stirred up the violent scenes in the capital.
Labour claimed she had ‘deliberately inflamed tensions’ around Remembrance weekend and made the police’s job harder by attacking them.
But Mrs Braverman’s supporters on the Tory Right rallied round her this morning in the wake of her sacking.
Conservative former education minister Andrea Jenkyns posted on social media this morning: ‘I support @SuellaBraverman. Sacked for speaking the truth. Bad call by Rishi caving in to the left!’
Ex-business secretary Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg claimed Mr Sunak had made a ‘mistake’ by firing Mrs Braverman.
‘Suella understands what the country thinks about migration, the concerns the country has, is serious about it, [she] was determined to get it down,’ he told GB News.
‘Sometimes she’s spoken in a way that others are a bit squeamish about, but that’s not really the point.
‘The point is that as home secretary, she was committed to delivering something that the country thinks is important.’
Sir Jacob added: ‘I think from the point of view of the Conservatives winning the next election, today is a mistake because Suella understood what the British voter thought and was trying to do something about it.
‘It seems to me that the PM is not as well attuned to the voters’ concerns as Suella Braverman.’
Fellow former Cabinet minister Simon Clarke issued a coded message about Mr Sunak ignoring the right of his party.
In a social media post written in a response to England manager Gareth Southgate’s decision to omit Chelsea’s Raheem Sterling from the latest national team squad, Mr Clarke wrote: ‘Some controversial choices here from the manager, putting it very mildly.
‘Never wise to lack options on the right wing – the squad risks being badly unbalanced.’
Another Tory backbencher, Michael Fabricant, said: ‘I am sad to see Suella go – I think she was a strong Home Secretary with all the right instincts.’
But he also noted how Mrs Braverman had challenged Mr Sunak’s authority while she was Home Secretary.
‘All Prime Ministers need team players with self-discipline… and the team captain must be the Prime Minister,’ he added. ‘But I shall miss her on the front bench.’
Yvette Cooper, Labour’s shadow home secretary, said: ‘Suella Braverman has now been sacked twice as Home Secretary.
‘Rishi Sunak should never have re-appointed her in first place. He was warned against it and was warned on the damage she was doing.
‘He went along with her undermining the police. Buck still stops with this weak PM.’
Suella Braverman, the polarising darling of the Right whose hard line on borders, pro-Palestinian protests and the homeless has put her in the running for future Tory leader
By David Wilcock, deputy political editor for MailOnline
Suella Braverman seemed to revel in the discord she sowed as home secretary, both inside and outside the Conservative Party.
The daughter of immigrants took a hardline against immigration, even by Tory standards, with a warning of a ‘hurricane’ of global migration threating Britain.
But ultimately she was undone by going rogue once too often with attacks on the homeless, for sleeping rough as a ‘lifestyle choice’, and then, more astonishingly, the Metropolitan Police over Gaza demonstrations.
While fellow ministers made no secret of their desire for police to step in to prevent a pro-Palestine demonstration in London on Armistice Day, her branding of them all as ‘hate marchers’ was criticised from within Tory ranks even before she questioned the police’s motives.
Mrs Braverman claimed in a newspaper article that Scotland Yard was ‘playing favourites’ and guilty of double standards when policing protests from the left and the right, which was not cleared by No10.
In a serious challenge to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s authority, it also emerged how Mrs Braverman had been asked by Downing Street to remove some parts of the article before it was published – but she seemingly refused.
When the weekend saw far-Right thugs travel to the Cenotaph and clash with police, with some intent on confronting those on the pro-Palestine march, Mrs Braverman was accused of having stirred up the violent scenes in the capital.
Labour claimed she had ‘deliberately inflamed tensions’ around Remembrance weekend and made the police’s job harder by attacking them.
The furious row has now ultimately seen her sacked from the Home Office for the second time.
Suella Braverman, pictured today, has been sacked as Home Secretary by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak following a furious row, marking a second time she has been ousted from office
Labour claimed she had ‘deliberately inflamed tensions’ around Remembrance weekend and made the police’s job harder by attacking them and claiming they were ‘playing favourites’
She was also home secretary for a period of weeks under Ms Truss last year. And in that term in office, as with the more recent one, she was accused of using it as a springboard to enter No10.
It is not uncommon for ambitious ministers to eye up the top job. What made this different was the fact that the country is a year from an election with no real likelihood of Mr Sunak either quitting or being ousted first.
It led to criticism that with the Tories around 20 points behind Labour in the polls, Mrs Braverman was angling to become Tory leader of the opposition when the party’s 13-year hold on power ends.
But MPs suggested she may not be as popular as she thinks. One Tory backbencher suggested to MailOnline that her core support comprised around ten MPs, while ‘everyone else recognises she’s a liability to the party and to the PM personally’.
The mother of two, 43, is of Indian ancestry. Her parents Uma and Christie Fernandes have Goan and Mauritian links, but emigrated to Britain in the 1960s from East Africa before setting up base in Harrow, north-west London.
Born in 1980, she was named Sue-Ellen by her mother, a fan of the US soap opera Dallas, which was huge at the time. But she was named Suella by primary school teachers who couldn’t deal with the hyphen, and it stuck.
Mrs Fernandes, a nurse by profession, ensured politics was a part of family life. A Tory councillor for 16 years, she also stood unsuccessfully for Parliament herself in 2001 and 2003.
But her daughter had – and still has – eyes on leading the party after a series of hardline interventions that have bitterly divided the Tories and pose a tantalising glimpse of where it could go politically if it loses power to Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour.
Outside politics, Mrs Braverman has two children with her husband Rael, whom she married at the House of Commons in 2018
Mrs Braverman with her husband and mother and father Christie and Uma Fernandes
Downing Street has launched a probe after the Home Secretary suggested Scotland Yard commissioner Mark Rowley would be tougher if the protests were in a different cause.
In a piece for the The Times, she also risked enraging the DUP by comparing the situation to protestant marches in Northern Ireland, saying the Gaza ceasefire demo included ‘Islamists’ who were ‘asserting primacy’ and could be linked to terrorism.
Downing Street initially refused to say whether the intervention had been signed off by Mr Sunak.
A home secretary publicly attacking operational decisions by the Met chief is extremely rare, and a former inspector of constabulary warned it ‘crossed the line’.
Speculation has been growing in Westminster that Ms Braverman was engineering a confrontation with Mr Sunak that could see her resign, and position for a potential Tory leadership contest after the election.
She sparked a major backlash over the previous weekend by suggesting homelessness can be a ‘lifestyle choice’ and charities should be stopped from giving tents to people living on the streets.
Moderate Tory MPs condemned the idea, and fellow ministers soon distanced themselves from her words. The move did not appear in the King’s Speech, although it has not been completely ruled out in future.
That followed a speech on immigration and the state of the country that led to a standing ovation at the Conservative Party conference in September.
In a red meat address to the party faithful the home secretary accused politicians of all shades of being too ‘squeamish about being smeared as racist’ to act on illegal immigration over the past 30 years.
And she used the example of her own parents – who were of Indian heritage but who arrived in Britain from east Africa – to paint a dire picture of the threat facing the UK.
Referencing a speech by former Conservative PM Harold Macmillan about the break up of the former British Empire, she said: ‘The wind of change that carried my own parents across the globe in the 20th century was a mere gust compared to the hurricane that is coming.’
In another crowd-pleasing announcement, Mrs Braverman – who was greeted by a standing ovation in the hall in Manchester, vowed that sex offenders will no longer be able to change their name or gender to evade monitoring, while foreign offenders will be ‘booted out’ of Britain at the earliest opportunity.
Born in 1980, she was named Sue-Ellen after the character in Dallas played by Linda Gray but she was named Suella by primary school teachers who couldn’t deal with the hyphen
She vowed to end the expensive use of hotels to house migrants and lashed out at trans rights and ‘woke’, attacking ‘Keir ”take the knee” Starmer’. She also blasted Labour over its links to Just Stop Oil.
She took on her critics – both in the Conservative Party and across politics, saying she was a hate figure because she tells the ‘blunt, unvarnished truth’.
But in comments likely to cause controversy she accused her opponents of being elitist, with ‘luxury views’, adding: ‘They like open borders. The migrants coming in won’t be taking their jobs. In fact, they are more likely to have them mowing their lawns or cleaning their homes.
‘They love soft sentences. The criminals who benefit from such ostentatious compassion won’t be terrorising their streets or grooming their children.’
Mrs Braverman herself was an early adopter of Tory values, serving as president of the Cambridge University Conservative Association while studying law.
After two failed parliamentary runs, she was elected as MP for Fareham in South East Hampshire in 2015 and rose through the party ranks quickly.
Outside politics, Mrs Braverman has two children with her husband Rael, whom she married at the House of Commons in 2018.
She has faced questions over her involvement with the controversial Buddhist Triratna sect.
The Triratna order, formerly one of Buddhism’s largest sects in the UK, has been the subject of historic sexual abuse allegations.
Mrs Braverman is believed to have attended meetings and retreats organised by the group, and was known as a ‘mitra’ – or friend – within the order.
Mrs Braverman is most rightwing Home Secretary of the modern era, a polarising figure in politics in general and even with the Conservative Party.
She rose to prominence a year ago when she ran to be party leader and was rewarded for a strong showing with one of the great offices of state by MsTruss.
She was forced to resign over leaks of government documents to an ally which were sent to a civil servant by mistake, but was later brought back into the same role by Mr Sunak as a gesture to the right of the party which had opposed him.
Since then she has repeatedly hit the headlines, mainly for her hardline stance against immigration, but also for rallying against trans rights and ‘woke’.
To her detractors she is the most extreme conservative in the Government. To her supporters she is a plain-talking patriot unwilling to varnish the truth, even if it upsets people.
She is now seen as the leading rightwing candidate to replace Mr Sunak if the Tories are beaten by Labour at the next election.
The staunch Brexiteer served loyally in Boris Johnson’s Cabinet as Attorney General, even winning a change in the law to allow her to take maternity leave and return – something no holder of a Cabinet role had previously done.
She was later appointed to replace Priti Patel as home secretary.
Her hardline approach to immigration had courted controversy – and complaints from other Tory MPs in recent days. Last week she used a speech to a US thinktank to say the ‘misguided dogma of multiculturalism’ was posing an ‘existential threat’ to the West, and refugee rules drawn up after the Second World War needed reform.
She also suggested that someone who faced persecuted for being gay should not necessarily qualify for refugee status.