SUELLA Braverman was the first Tory MP to publicly announce a bid to replace Boris Johnson as prime minister, proclaiming her candidacy during a live interview with ITV’s Robert Peston.

Who is she?

Braverman, 42, has been the MP for Fareham since 2015, and in April 2020 became Attorney General for England and Wales and Advocate General for Northern Ireland – an appointment which immediately alarmed civil liberty groups, and within months was harshly criticised by members of the Bar Association, who accused Braverman of bypassing legal advisers and the ministerial code over the course of Brexit.

Braverman has frequently courted controversy, such as in March 2019, when she stated in a speech before the Bruges Group that “as Conservatives, we are engaged in a battle against ‘cultural Marxism’”, a term she defended even after being challenged by the late journalist Dawn Foster over its antisemitic connotations.

What is she pledging?

Braverman has committed to cutting VAT on energy, reducing planned tax increases and safeguarding the UK Government’s controversial Rwanda plan for combating illegal immigration, even at the expense of the UK’s membership of the European Court of Human Rights. She has also held up Katharine Birbalsingh’s notoriously draconian Michaela Community School as an example that should “drive our approach to education.”

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More broadly, she has vowed to wage a “war on wokeness”, which may help her rally support from the more reactionary elements of the Tory party’s base, including opponents of minority rights, civil rights, human rights and what Braverman has characterised as a “rights culture”, which she believes has “spun out of control”.

What is she saying on Scotland?

In addition to generally voting against any transfer of powers to the Scottish Parliament, Braverman earlier this month indicated that she would consider blocking Scotland’s long-delayed reform of the Gender Recognition Act, to which she is deeply opposed.

This provoked widespread criticism, most notably from National columnist and lecturer in law Andrew Tickell - who noted that the Attorney General would have no jurisdiction for such a unilateral move - and Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie, who said: “They don’t believe in Scotland’s right to make decisions, even in devolved areas.”

Braverman’s apparent lack of concern with these objections may give some insight into her overall attitude towards Scotland and its constitutional future. 

Who’s backing her?

Braverman thus far has the backing of 11 Tory MPs, including erstwhile leadership candidate Steve Baker, who after abandoning his own brief bid commented: “There really is nobody better to get out country back on track.”

What’s her voting record?

Braverman’s voting record is consistently right-wing, even by the standards of the Conservative party.

A staunch opponent of progressive reform, she has voted against a right of remain for EU nationals, lowering the voting age, a publicly owned railway system, any investigations into the Iraq war, gay marriage and assisted dying for the terminally ill. She has however backed a reduction in welfare spending, a tougher asylum policy, replacing Trident and greater British military engagement overseas.