Fresh Blow For Boris Johnson As Suella Braverman Backs Rishi Sunak

Former home secretary backs Johnson's rival, saying: "We are in dire straits. We need unity, stability and efficiency."
Suella Braverman
Suella Braverman
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Suella Braverman is backing Rishi Sunak for Tory leader in a fresh blow for Boris Johnson’s bid to return as prime minister.

Braverman backed Liz Truss for leader but helped bring her premiership to an end with her dramatic resignation as home secretary earlier this week.

The former cabinet minister said that while she had “backed Boris” from the start, it was time for a new leader.

However, Johnson won the backing of Nadhim Zahawi and foreign secretary James Cleverly in the ongoing race to replace Truss.

Writing for the Daily Telegraph, Braverman said Johnson’s resignation in July was a “loss for our country” and that he was one of “the most significant prime ministers in history.

“He was the right leader at the right time,” she said. “I was honoured to serve in his Cabinet.

“However, it would be naïve to look back on those days with sentimentality.

“I have backed Boris from the start. From running alongside him in London in 2012, to supporting him to be our leader in 2019 and willing him to succeed throughout the travails of this year. His resignation in July was a loss for our country.

“But we are in dire straits now. We need unity, stability and efficiency. Rishi is the only candidate that fits the bill and I am proud to support him. ”

Braverman’s endorsement is just the latest Sunak has received from leading figures on the right of the party.

The former chancellor, who officially announced his intention to stand earlier today, has also picked up support from leading Brexiteer Steve Baker and international home secretary Kemi Badenoch.

To get on the leadership ballot, candidates need to secure nominations from 100 MPs.

Sunak is currently storming ahead with 144 public MP nominations, with Johnson on 56 and Penny Mordaunt on 23.

Johnson is the only candidate who has not officially declared his intention to stand.

Earlier today Johnson’s allies insisted he would stand for the top post and that he had the numbers to get on the ballot.

Business secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg told the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg: “I have been speaking to Boris Johnson, and clearly he’s going to stand, there’s a great deal of support for him.”

However, there has been some scepticism as to whether Johnson actually has the support required to make it on to the ballot, considering the MPs that have formally backed him is lower than the 100 required.


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