Suella Braverman blasted as race to lead the Tory Party intensifies | Politics | News

Jonathan Gullis said it is also “critical” the Conservative’s unveil a new leader within the next three months.

No Tories have put themselves forward for the leadership role as of yet, but Suella Braverman, James Cleverly, Kemi Badenoch, Tom Tugendhat, Robert Jenrick and Priti Patel have been linked with the job.

Two-time former leadership hopeful Jeremy Hunt has ruled himself out of the running.

The Conservative party is attempting to rebuild itself after winning just 121 seats in a bruising general election defeat.

Rishi Sunak has said he will stay as party leader in the short-term while the party sorts itself out.

Veteran Tory Bob Blackman was last night elected as chair of the powerful backbench 1922 Committee which helps organised the Tory leadership contest.

Writing in the Daily Express Mr Gullis, who lost his Stoke-on-Trent North seat to Labour at the general election, said: “As a Party, we have much to consider and some serious soul-searching to do to ensure we are match fit to take the fight to Labour at the next election.

“We must now ensure that their unfunded spending plans must be vigorously scrutinised by an effective opposition.

“For that to happen, we must appoint a Leader before their first Budget.”

He added: “I am clear that whoever our new Leader might be, we must ensure that they have the unwavering support of both MPs and Conservative members.

“Whilst it would be wrong to rush any leadership process, we have to learn from the lessons of the past and not drag this process out longer than necessary.

“With Labour enjoying their honeymoon period, it will be our Party Conference in September and Labour’s first Budget rumoured for October that will give us the opportunity to demonstrate we have begun to listen to voters and understand what caused many of them to either sit the last election out or lodge a protest vote elsewhere.

“For that reason, I believe we must unveil our new leader and their team by Labour’s first budget at the latest, with the full backing of the Parliamentary party and our loyal membership.”

Mr Gullis also warned that Ms Braverman is not the “appropriate choice to reunite” the Conservatives, accusing her of “overly divisive” and “aggressive” rhetoric.

Speaking to Times Radio he said: “I am abundantly clear that I do not think Suella Braverman is the right person.

“I think Suella’s rhetoric at times could be overly explosive, overly divisive, is not what the country wants to hear in all cases, because I think it is too aggressive.”

Mr Gullis’s remarks came a day after Mrs Braverman used a speech to the National Conservatism conference in Washington to claim that Mr Sunak had failed to stop the “lunatic woke virus” in the Civil Service and that he never wanted to stop migrant small boat Channel crossings.

Lord Houchen, the Tory mayor of the Tees Valley, said Mrs Braverman had “shot herself in the foot” by criticising the Conservatives in the wake of the election.

“I don’t think it’s a credible offering, and the MPs and the members that I speak to are not interested in the divisive Right-wing politics of Suella Braverman,” he told Times Radio.

“I also think if the Conservative Party decides to go down the route of somebody like Suella Braverman, then we can absolutely see ourselves in opposition for generations to come.”

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