Tory leadership race: Suella Braverman breaks silence | Politics | News

The race to be crowned the new leader of the Conservative Party is under way and key contender Suella Braverman has broken her silence.

Mrs Braverman was one of few success stories for the Tories after a dismal night at the ballot box on Thursday, having defended her Fareham and Waterlooville seat with a respectable 6,000 vote majority.

Rishi Sunak confirmed he will be stepping aside as leader of the Conservatives after he issued an election defeat apology outside Number 10 on Friday to party activists and MPs.

Mrs Braverman, who is seen by many as a potential successor to the former PM, said on Saturday she was making „no announcements“ just yet on her intentions.

Machinations behind the scenes of the Tory party may well be under way, but with anyone taking the top spot becoming the fourth leader in four years, they may be forgiven for taking their time over choosing a new leader.

Mrs Braverman said: „No announcements. We’ve just got to take our time, we’ve got to figure out what the situation is.“

The former home secretary continued: „It’s been a really bad result. There’s no two ways about it. Hundreds of excellent Tory MPs have been kicked out of office.“

Despite vying for leadership in the past, former chancellor Jeremy Hunt has ruled himself out of the race to replace Rishi Sunak.

Mr Hunt narrowly won his own Surrey seat in Godalming and Ash by less than 1,000 votes thanks to a shrewd local campaign in recent weeks. He told GB News that the „time has passed“ for him to launch a bid for the top job in his party.

Mr Hunt is is a two-time former leadership hopeful, having unsuccessfully stood against Boris Johnson in 2019 when Theresa May resigned, and again in 2022 after Mr Johnson’s downfall.

After 649 of the 650 Commons seats had been declared, Labour had 412 seats and the Tories 121, the worst result in Conservative history.

If Mrs Braverman does decide to enter the race to be the next leader, she could be running against the former home secretary James Cleverly; ex-business secretary Kemi Badenoch; Dame Priti Patel, who served as home secretary between July 2019 and September 2022; Robert Jenrick, who previously served as immigration minister and ex-health secretary Victoria Atkins.

Conservative MPs usually vote to select the top two candidates to put forward as potential leaders, with the party membership choosing the ultimate winner, although the rules and timeline of the race would be set out by the backbench 1922 Committee.

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