Suella Braverman knocked out of Tory leadership contest
Attorney general Suella Braverman is out of the Tory leadership race as the field narrows to find the next prime minister.
Braverman, who launched her leadership bid with an anti-trans dogwhistle, was eliminated after finishing last in the second round of voting, only managing to get 27 votes. Any candidate in the Tory leadership bid that fell below 30 backers would be eliminated.
Rishi Sunak, the former Chancellor of the Exchequer, maintained his lead as the frontrunner with 101 votes. Penny Mordaunt also held onto her spot as a contender in the election with a total of 83 backers in the second knock-out round.
Foreign secretary and equalities minister Liz Truss got 64 votes while Kemi Badenoch managed to get 49 backers.
Tom Tugendhat, a Tonbridge and Malling MP who has served on the Foreign Affairs Committee since 2017, vowed to keep fighting despite receiving the backing of just 32 Conservative MPs.
The first round of Tory MP votes on Wednesday (24 July) saw former health secretary Jeremy Hunt and current Chancellor of the Exchequer Nadhim Zahawi knocked out of the contest.
During her leadership bid, Braverman said she believed Britain needs to “get rid of all this woke rubbish” and make the nation a safe place for people to share anti-trans views.
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“We need to get rid of all of this woke rubbish and get back to a country where describing a man and a woman in terms of biology does not mean that you’re going to lose your job,” Braverman said, in an apparent reference to the Maya Forstater tribunal ruling last week.
Braverman condemned schools for what she described as their “unquestioning approach” to supporting trans youth and said educational institutions should take a “much firmer line” by treating trans youth as the gender they were assigned at birth.
Suella Braverman suggested that Westminster could block Scotland’s vital reform of Gender Recognition Act in an interview with the Telegraph. She also described young people coming out as trans as a “social contagion” and believed that teachers fear a “takeover” of trans rights in schools.
The five remaining Tory leadership candidates – who have iffy track records on their support for the LGBTQ+ community – will face off in further ballots next week in a bid to whittle down the contenders until only two remain.
The final two will participate in hustings across the country over the summer to help Conservative party members determine who will be the next Tory leader and therefore prime minister.
Ultimately, the next prime minister will be announced by 5 September when MPs return to Westminster after their summer recess.