House of Lords 2022 / photography by Roger Harris

Sayonara Suella: breaking down Braverman’s not-so-bon voyage

After a notoriously tendentious tenure at No.10 Downing Street, Suella Braverman was finally sacked as home secretary earlier this month, after defying senior advice to alter her opinion piece for The Times, which villainised the Metropolitan Police’s policing of protests.

Mrs Braverman, despite having already been dismissed as home secretary under Liz Truss only a year ago, faced her anticipated redundancy from Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak. Only two weeks into her first role, Braverman fittingly ‘resigned’ from Truss’ cabinet after breaching ministerial regulation by sending an official document from her personal email to a fellow MP. Yet, this departure was almost as short-lived as Truss’ administration, as several days later the politician found her way back into the Home Office under Sunak. Despite having instigated political uproar due to her overt opinions that span across various sectors including homelessness, sexual abuse, and police bias, it was undoubtedly her defiance of the Prime Minister that merited her expulsion.

Whilst flagrantly challenging Sunak’s authority is shocking given her political status, it is expected. The disreputably blunt Tory MP, loved by many as a populist conservative, has made a name for herself due to her abundant incongruities.

Politically active since 2015, the 42-year-old championed Brexit, despite studying in Paris for two years, and unshakeably advocates the deportation of immigrants, even though both of her parents fall into that bracket. Yet, despite being a hated figure to many, Braverman is said to be polite and kind amongst her colleagues and is arguably far more of a career gold digger than an ignorant exhibitionist – but, regarding an intelligent Cambridge graduate, what motivates these simply patent paradoxes?

Braverman was simply a puppet master, alike many of her counterparts, reframing the tactics of baffled Boris who suddenly stumbled upon the most stable and tribal support for the Conservative label since Margaret Thatcher. Braverman, similarly, was an asset to Conservative success. Labour MP, Yvette Cooper, perfectly elucidated in the Commons that “No other home secretary would ever have done this.”

Equally, no other home secretary would call immigration to the UK an ‘invasion’, openly express in a Tory conference that it is her ‘dream’ and ‘obsession’ to see a plane take off deporting people to Rwanda, or brand homelessness as a ‘lifestyle choice’. Nor would any unprovocative, likeability-seeking politician describe pro-Palestinian demonstrations as ‘hate marches.’ Yet, all of Braverman’s denigratory comments have made headlines and here I am, writing about them – it seems that the attention-seeker successfully sought the attention she was looking for.

Politicians often misjudge the lack of popularity that comes with complexity, as exhaustive vocabulary often equates to excuses and empty promises.

Whether she even believed her statements or not, she grasped that platform came with contention and even more shrewdly, the silent majority that she appealed to. Politicians often misjudge the lack of popularity that comes with complexity, as exhaustive vocabulary often equates to excuses and empty promises.

Suella Braverman cracked the significance of simplicity from an early age, shortening her name from Sue Ellen Ewing to Suella after teachers used that nickname. Ostentatious political statements hugely reflect that and have proved hugely successful; a short, shocking sentence claiming Channel crossings are an ‘invasion’ gained backing in polling from more than half of the British public.

Previously an aspiring lawyer, practising law in both the UK and the US, Braverman’s rise to the top of the political ladder has always been on her beeline. Whilst studying law at Queens’ College, Cambridge, she became president of the student-led Conservative Association. Finally breaking through the glass ceiling in 2015, and making her way into the Commons, the opportunist didn’t hesitate to leech onto the Brexit ultras of the European Research Group.

By 2018, she had played all her cards right as she was appointed under Theresa May as Brexit minister, in the thick of the EU referendum, and then climbed her way up to attorney general under Boris Johnson. Indubitably in the flashcards, she married a Mercedes-Benz manager whilst rising in her political status, fittingly coining the catchy name Suella Braverman as opposed to Suella Fernandes.

Yet, the notorious nature of Mrs. Braverman finally took its toll when she got too close for comfort, repeatedly defying the institution that made her. Forced to resign as Mrs. Truss’ home secretary, publicised to be in protest of May’s Brexit plans, Braveman was caught red-handed after sharing confidential cabinet members with Tory MP Sir John Hayes, known for his Tory alliance with the previous home secretary. Despite some arguing that Sunak ‘’should never have reappointed’’ Braverman, various party members have made it known that she will be missed.

Suella … is the voice for a surprisingly hefty majority of the public who don’t want to see waves of anti-Israeli protesters on their ignorantly blissful winter weekends

Sir Jacob-Rees-Mogg told GB News that sacking Mrs Braverman was a mistake as ‘’she understands what the country thinks!’’ and, albeit charged with prejudicial, derisive opinions, Rees-Mogg has ultimately hit the nail on the head. Suella, alike many a right-wing extremist, is the voice for a surprisingly hefty majority of the public who don’t want to see waves of anti-Israeli protesters on their ignorantly blissful winter weekends or are threatened by a growing population of cultures unrelatable to them.

Of course, she could have avoided being sacked by treading more carefully, but she now has the following she was so desperately longing for to give herself leverage. Bravermen’s career isn’t necessarily over by any means just because she was sacked by Sunak; she now has a support base from the Common Sense Group of MPs, run by Sir John Hayes as well as support from New Conservatives. She has substantial backing within the government, which is ideal if she runs in the upcoming election next year.

Luckily for Sunak, former prime minister David Cameron has come to the rescue, replacing James Cleverly as foreign secretary whilst Cleverly fills Braverman’s position. Former politicians, rest assured, are glad to see the back of her. Sir Charles Walker, former vice-chair of the backbenchers said: “The cabinet would be a happier place without her in it, and the parliamentary party would be a better place without everyone having to worry about what she is going to say next.”

David Gauke, former justice secretary also added that “Suella Braverman has an agenda of her own and it has nothing to do with performing her role as home secretary or helping her party in presenting a cohesive and unified government to the country.”

So, rather than putting a stop to Braverman’s hate speeches at earlier stages, Sunak let her continue to maintain his support; ‘‘a grubby deal’’ in the words of Keir Starmer. Alas, it took defiance of governmental advice regarding her article slandering the Metropolitan police, rather than the obstructive and unnecessary opinion piece itself, to see her off.


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