Suella Braverma – the polarising darling of the Right

Suella Braverman seemed to revel in the discord she sowed as Home Secretary, both inside and outside the Conservative Party. 

The daughter of immigrants took a hardline against immigration, even by Tory standards, with a warning of a ‘hurricane’ of global migration threating Britain.

But ultimately she was undone by going rogue once too often with attacks on the homeless, for sleeping rough as a ‘lifestyle choice’, and then, more astonishingly, the Metropolitan Police over Gaza demonstrations.

While fellow ministers made no secret of their desire for police to step in to prevent a pro-Palestine demonstration in London on Armistice Day, her branding of them all as ‘hate marchers’ was criticised from within Tory ranks even before she questioned the police’s motives.

Mrs Braverman claimed in a newspaper article that Scotland Yard was ‘playing favourites’ and guilty of double standards when policing protests from the left and the right, which was not cleared by No10.

When the weekend saw far-right thugs travel to the Cenotaph and clash with police, with some seemingly intent on confronting those on the pro-Palestine march, Mrs Braverman was accused of having stirred up the violent scenes in the capital.

Labour claimed she had ‘deliberately inflamed tensions’ around Remembrance weekend and made the police’s job harder by attacking them.

The furious row has now ultimately seen her sacked from the Home Office for the second time.

Suella Braverman, pictured today, has been sacked as Home Secretary by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak following a furious row

Labour claimed she had 'deliberately inflamed tensions' around Remembrance weekend and made the police's job harder by attacking them

She was also home secretary for a period of weeks under Liz Truss last year. And in that term in office, as with the more recent one, she was accused of using it as a springboard to enter No10. 

It is not uncommon for ambitious ministers to eye up the top job. What made this different was the fact that the country is a year from an election with no real likelihood of Rishi Sunak either quitting or being ousted first. 

It led to criticism that with the Tories around 20 points behind Labour in the polls, Mrs Braverman was angling to become Tory leader of the opposition when the party’s 13-year hold on power ends.

But MPs suggested she may not be as popular as she thinks. One Tory backbencher suggested to MailOnline that her core support comprised around 10 MPs, while ‘everyone else recognises she’s a liability to the party and to the PM personally’. 

The mother of two, 43, is of Indian ancestry. Her parents Uma and Christie Fernandes have Goan and Mauritian links, but emigrated to Britain in the 1960s from East Africa before setting up base in Harrow, north-west London.

Born in 1980, she was named Sue-Ellen by her mother, a fan of the US soap opera Dallas, which was huge at the time. But she was named Suella by primary school teachers who couldn’t deal with the hyphen, and it stuck.

Mrs Fernandes, a nurse by profession, ensured politics was a part of family life. A Tory councillor for 16 years, she also stood unsuccessfully for Parliament herself in 2001 and 2003.

But her daughter had – and still has –  eyes on leading the party after a series of hardline interventions that have bitterly divided the Tories and pose a tantalising glimpse of where it could go politically if it loses power to Keir Starmer’s Labour. 

Outside politics, Mrs Braverman has two children with her husband Rael, whom she married at the House of Commons in 2018.

The mother of two, 43, is of Indian ancestry. Her parents Uma and Christie Fernandes have Goan and Mauritian links, but emigrated to Britain in the 1960s from East Africa before setting up base in Harrow, north-west London.

Downing Street has launched a probe after the Home Secretary suggested Scotland Yard commissioner Mark Rowley would be tougher if the protests were in a different cause.

In a piece for the The Times, she also risked enraging the DUP by comparing the situation to protestant marches in Northern Ireland, saying the Gaza ceasefire demo included ‘Islamists’ who were ‘asserting primacy’ and could be linked to terrorism.

Downing Street initially refused to say whether the intervention had been signed off by Rishi Sunak.

A Home Secretary publicly attacking operational decisions by the Met chief is extremely rare, and a former inspector of constabulary warned it ‘crossed the line’.

Speculation has been growing in Westminster that Ms Braverman was engineering a confrontation with Mr Sunak that could see her resign, and position for a potential Tory leadership contest after the election.

She sparked a major backlash over the previous weekend by suggesting homelessness can be a ‘lifestyle choice’ and charities should be stopped from giving tents to people living on the streets.

Moderate Tory MPs xondemned the idea, and fellow ministers soon distanced themselves from her words. The move did not appear in the King’s Speech, although it has not been completely ruled out in future.

That followed a speech on immigration and the state of the country that led to a standing ovation at the Conservative Party conference in September.

In a red meat address to the party faithful the Home Secretary accused politicians of all shades of being too ‘squeamish about being smeared as racist’ to act on illegal immigration over the past 30 years. 

And she used the example of her own parents – who were of Indian heritage but who arrived in Britain from east Africa – to paint a dire picture of the threat facing the UK.

Referencing a speech by former Conservative PM Harold Macmillan about the break up of the former British Empire, she said: ‘The wind of change that carried my own parents across the globe in the 20th century was a mere gust compared to the hurricane that is coming.’

In another crowd-pleasing announcement, Ms Braverman – who was greeted by a standing ovation in the hall in Manchester, vowed that sex offenders will no longer be able to change their name or gender to evade monitoring, while foreign offenders will be ‘booted out’ of Britain at the earliest opportunity.

Born in 1980, she was named Sue-Ellen after the character in Dallas  played by Linda Gray. Her mother was a fan of the US soap opera, which was huge at the time. But she was named Suella by primary school teachers who couldn't deal with the hyphen, and it stuck.

She vowed to end the expensive use of hotels to house migrants and lashed out at trans rights and ‘woke’, attacking ‘Keir ”take the knee” Starmer’. She also blasted Labour over its links to Just Stop Oil

She took on her critics – both in the Conservative Party and across politics, saying she was a hate figure because she tells the ‘blunt, unvarnished truth’.

But in comments likely to cause controversy she accused her opponents of being elitist, with ‘luxury views’, adding: ‘They like open borders. The migrants coming in won’t be taking their jobs. In fact, they are more likely to have them mowing their lawns or cleaning their homes.

‘They love soft sentences. The criminals who benefit from such ostentatious compassion won’t be terrorising their streets or grooming their children.’

Mrs Braverman herself was an early adopter of Tory values, serving as president of the Cambridge University Conservative Association while studying law. 

After two failed parliamentary runs, she was elected as MP for Fareham in Hampshire in 2015 and rose through the party ranks quickly.

Outside politics, Mrs Braverman has two children with her husband Rael, whom she married at the House of Commons in 2018.

She has faced questions over her involvement with the controversial Buddhist Triratna sect.

The Triratna order, formerly one of Buddhism’s largest sects in the UK, has been the subject of historic sexual abuse allegations.

Mrs Braverman is believed to have attended meetings and retreats organised by the group, and was known as a ‘mitra’ – or friend – within the order.

Mrs Braverman is most rightwing Home Secretary of the modern era, a polarising figure in politics in general and even with the Conservative Party.

She rose to prominence a year ago when she ran to be party leader and was rewarded for a strong showing with one of the great offices of state by Liz Truss. 

She was forced to resign over leaks of government documents to an ally which were sent to a civil servant by mistake, but was later brought back into the same role by Rishi Sunak as a gesture to the right of the party which had opposed him.

Since then she had has repeatedly hit the headlines, mainly for her hardline stance against immigration, but also for rallying against trans rights and ‘woke’.

To her detractors she is the most extreme conservative in the government. To her supporters she is a plain-talking patriot unwilling to varnish the truth, even if it upsets people.

She is now seen as the leading rightwing candidate to replace Mr Sunak if the Tories are beaten by Labour at the next election. 

The staunch Brexiteer served loyally in Boris Johnson’s Cabinet as Attorney General, even winning a change in the law to allow her to take maternity leave and return – something no holder of a Cabinet role had previously done.

She was later appointed to replace Priti Patel as home secretary.

Her hardline approach to immigration had courted controversy – and complaints from other Tory MPs in recent days. Last week she used a speech to a US thinktank to say the ‘misguided dogma of multiculturalism’ was posing an ‘existential threat’ to the West, and refugee rules drawn up after the Second World War needed reform. 

She also suggested that someone who faced persecuted for being gay should not necessarily qualify for refugee status.  


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