Braverman Deepens Tory Divide With Controversial Pride Flag Speech

Suella Braverman’s scathing remarks about the Pride flag and liberal Conservatives have ignited a fierce backlash within her party, leaving her leadership aspirations in turmoil. Here’s the full story.

Controversial Remarks

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Disgraced former Home Secretary Suella Braverman recently ignited a fierce debate within the Conservative Party following her controversial remarks at the National Conservatism conference in Washington, DC.

Leadership Campaign Backfires

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Her speech, which was supposed to launch her leadership campaign following the Conservatives’ historic defeat in the general election recently, has instead backfired spectacularly, drawing criticism from both within her party and her political opponents.

Blaming “Liberal Conservatives”

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Braverman blamed what she termed “liberal Conservatives” for the party’s electoral wipeout, stating, “We won a great majority in 2019 promising to do what the people wanted. We were going to use our Brexit freedoms and stop waves of illegal migrants. We were going to cut taxes. We were going to stop the lunatic woke virus. We did none of this.”

Liberals to Blame

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She added, “Our problem is us. Our problem is that the liberal Conservatives who trashed the Tory party think it was everyone’s fault but their own. My party governed as liberals and we were defeated as liberals. But seemingly, as ever, it is Conservatives who are to blame.”

Condemnation of Pride Flag

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However, one of the most contentious points in Braverman’s speech, which drew immediate censure from her party, was her condemnation of the flying of the Progress Pride flag at the Home Office.

Signifying Inclusivity

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The Progress Pride flag, which includes additional stripes to represent marginalised groups within the LGBTQ+ community, was flown to signify inclusivity and support.

“Mutilation of Children”

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Braverman did not see the flag that way, stating, “What the Progress flag says to me is one monstrous thing: that I was a member of a government that presided over the mutilation of children in our hospitals and from our schools.”

Immediate Backlash

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Braverman’s remarks triggered an immediate backlash from prominent Conservative figures. Iain Dale, a former Conservative candidate and radio presenter, described her speech as “disgusting” and questioned her suitability for party leadership. He stated, “What a disgusting speech. And she seriously thinks she has a chance of leading the Conservative party. Not while I have a breath left in my body. Moderate Conservatives need to stand up and be counted. This will not stand.”

Calls for Expulsion

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Similarly, another Conservative candidate, Casey Byrne, called for Braverman’s expulsion from the party and urged others to voice their opposition to her divisive rhetoric.

Former Leaders Weigh In

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Several former Conservative leaders and MPs have also weighed in on Braverman’s comments. Former Tory leader William Hague cautioned against the party adopting extreme right-wing policies, warning, “It’s very important for the Conservatives not to turn into a version of the Republican Party in America.”

Analysis of Voting

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Speaking to Times Radio, Hague stated, “When you look at the evidence, the analysis of why people say they voted how they did by the polling organisations, of those Conservatives who switched to vote for Reform, which was a lot of them, only 13 per cent of those people said it was because the Conservatives were too left wing. Seventy-three per cent said it was because they thought the Conservatives were not competent.”

Conservative Incompetence

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He added, “And I suspect that the real answer is not that the Conservative are too liberal and all those issues that Suella has been talking about.”

Growing Party Divide

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Braverman’s speech highlighted a growing divide within the Conservative Party between its traditionalist and liberal factions as its leadership election unofficially kicked off.

Divisive Rhetoric

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Tees Valley Tory Mayor Lord Houchen criticised Braverman’s alignment with Reform UK and her divisive rhetoric, stating that she was “out of step” with the party’s direction.

Push for Right-Wing Policies

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However, in keeping with the factionalism that plagued the Conservative Party while in power, not everyone agrees. Some former MPs, like Jacob Rees-Mogg, have pushed for a return to more right-wing policies, arguing, “The Conservative party took its base for granted… We failed to show ourselves to be on the side of the people who had historically voted for us.”

Leadership Candidates

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With current Prime Minister Rishi Sunak expected to remain interim leader until the end of the summer recess, candidates are positioning themselves for a leadership bid.

Candidates’ Visions

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Among them are former Home Secretary Priti Patel, ex-Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch, ex-Security Minister Tom Tugendhat, ex-Health Secretary Victoria Atkins, and ex-Home Office Minister Robert Jenrick.

Ideological Rift Worsens

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With each candidate bringing a different vision for the party’s future, the ideological rift within the Conservative Party will likely worsen before it gets better. Suella Braverman’s recent comments have only added to the party’s issues, as some try to distance it from the culture war topics of the past while others push for a full-throated embrace of divisive American-style conservatism.

Factional Triumph Uncertain

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However, it remains to be seen which faction will ultimately triumph and which way the party will move following the election of its flag bearer.

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Grant Gallacher is a seasoned writer with expertise in politics and impactful daily news. His work, deeply rooted in addressing issues that resonate with a wide audience, showcases an unwavering commitment to bringing forth the stories that matter. He is also known for satirical writing and stand up comedy.

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