SUELLA Braverman could be attempting to follow the “Boris Johnson playbook” to win leadership of the Tory Party, an expert has suggested.

The Home Secretary came under fire for stoking tensions by branding pro-Palestinian demonstrators “hate marchers” and accusing the police of bias for letting the march go ahead on the day commemorating the end of the First World War.

She was accused of emboldening far-right protesters after some clashed with police in London on Armistice Day.

However, it’s far from the first time Braverman has provoked a storm of controversy, with recent comments including a claim that homelessness and living on the streets is sometimes a lifestyle choice and an assertion that multiculturalism has “failed”.

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She also triggered a huge backlash after saying it was her “dream” to see flights deporting asylum seekers to Rwanda and for referring to an “invasion” of asylum seekers. She also claimed there are “many instances” where asylum seekers pretend to be gay to “game the system”.

Tim Bale, professor of politics at Queen Mary University of London, said: “I think everything Suella Braverman does has to be seen through the lens of her leadership ambitions.

“She’s clearly trying to court what she thinks is the anti-woke, authoritarian component of the membership in the hope that will bring her the leadership after the election, should the Conservatives lose it.”

However, he said many Conservative MPs – even some on the right of the party – were shocked by her comments on the pro-Palestinian marches, made in an article which Downing Street said it did not approve.

Some Conservative MPs have spoken out, with justice committee chair Sir Bob Neill saying on LBC that Braverman's position was “untenable”.

Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, treasurer of the influential backbench Tory 1922 Committee, suggested “we cannot carry on as we are” with Braverman as Home Secretary, and Rishi Sunak may be forced to act.

But Tory MP Miriam Cates told Today: “I think the Home Secretary has a view that is very mainstream in the rest of the UK.”

Lee Anderson, the Tory deputy chair, said the Home Secretary was “guilty of saying what most of us are thinking and saying”.

“Thank goodness we have a Home Secretary who refuses to be cancelled,” he added.

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Professor Bale said: “In a way, she might make herself more popular with some sections of the grassroots, but I think she will worry quite a lot of her colleagues when it comes to whether she would actually be an appropriate leader for a political party.

“They have been in some senses burnt twice with Boris Johnson, and Liz Truss – people who shoot from the hip and don’t necessarily think of the consequences. Would they really go for a third leader in the same vein? I’m not so sure.”

He added: “You do wonder whether she is following the Boris Johnson playbook in the sense of getting themselves sacked, becoming a martyr or a spokesperson for a cause, and getting into the leadership in that way.

“It’s hard to believe someone would say the kind of things that she says and particularly write the kind of things she has written without actually giving it some thought and thinking through what the consequences might be.

“That’s not to say that she doesn’t believe what she is saying, I think there is good reason to believe she is a bit of a culture warrior.

“But the kind of inflammatory language she has employed as Home Secretary I think is quite risky and quite dangerous.”

Sunak has so far resisted calls to sack Braverman, despite the furore over her comments.

This week will bring another key moment for the Home Secretary when the Supreme Court will rule on whether his government’s flagship immigration policy of sending asylum seekers to Rwanda – which has been championed by Braverman – is lawful.

Bale said Braverman’s comments had been a challenge to Sunak’s authority and if he did not fire her, he would look “very very weak”.

“He has got the Rwanda decision coming up on Tuesday and she’s been very much in the vanguard of the Government’s line on that, he said.

“So it is maybe he wants to keep her in place for that – that might explain the delay.

“The other reason is simply because he’s too worried about the implications for party management if he does fire her – and he simply doesn’t know what to do.”