Suella Braverman says ‘idiotic strategy’ led Conservatives to worst-ever election defeat | Politics News

Suella Braverman has issued a scathing verdict as to why the Conservatives lost the election, blaming Rishi Sunak for pursuing an “idiotic strategy” that treated voters like “mugs”.

In an intervention that will be seen as her teeing up a potential leadership bid, the former home secretary said her party “failed in office and deserved this result”.

Writing in The Sunday Telegraph, she attributed the party’s worst-ever defeat – in which it was reduced to just 121 seats – to the party pursuing an “idiotic strategy of intermittently and inconsistently making ‘Tory Right’ noises which disintegrated when set against our liberal Conservative record”.

“I say again, whatever some of my colleagues think, the voters aren’t mugs: they saw what we did in office and ignored what we insincerely said while campaigning,” she added.

The former home secretary – who retained her seat of Fareham and Waterlooville but with a much-reduced majority – blamed “high taxes” and “high immigration” as well as “insane political correctness” she believed the party had embraced for the scale of the defeat.

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In a nod to Conservative commentators who blamed the result on those who were agitating for it to lurch further to the right, Ms Braverman argued: “The problem wasn’t people like me and David Frost warning about the mistakes being made, it was the mistakes!”

Ms Braverman’s article comes after she ducked questions as to whether she would launch her bid to be the next Conservative leader after Mr Sunak confirmed he would step down following the result.

Other Tory MPs who are expected to launch leadership campaigns include former security minister Tom Tugendhat, former immigration minister Robert Jenrick, former business secretary Kemi Badenoch and former home secretary Dame Priti Patel.

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‘Will you be next Tory leader?’

In a hint that she too will run for leader, Ms Braverman said the Conservatives needed to “overhaul our party organisation so that MPs listen to members”.

“We must not entertain any talk of removing the grassroots from a leadership election,” she said.

Referring to the fact that Mr Sunak was effectively crowned Tory leader following the downfall of Liz Truss, she said: “They did not give us the leader who lost two-thirds of my colleagues their seats. We MPs did that.”

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Speaking on the steps of Downing Street after losing the election, Mr Sunak apologised for the result and said he would not leave his role immediately but would do so once a Tory leadership race begins.

“I would like to say, first and foremost, I am sorry. I have given this job my all,” he said.

“But you have sent a clear signal that the government of the United Kingdom must change.

Read more:
Jeremy Hunt rules himself out of Tory leadership race
What’s going on behind the scenes after Tory party’s greatest defeat

“And yours is the only judgement that matters.”

In an indication of the platform she will run on if she succeeds Mr Sunak as Conservative Party leader, Ms Braverman said the Tories must leave the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and scrap the Human Rights Act to facilitate a crackdown on migration as well as “fix Labour’s Equality Act”.

She added: “Nigel Farage is in the Commons now. He has no record in office to defend.

“He can just say the right things. But we have to do them. It’s long past time that we started.”

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