Suella Braverman: who is Attorney General declaring entry in Tory leadership race, could she be Prime Minister

Braverman is the first to declare her interest in running for leader, but will likely be up against much ‘bigger’ names

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After ministers and MPs made it apparent that Boris Johnson's position was untenable, he is stepping down as Tory leader.

He will continue in office until a replacement is chosen, which is anticipated to happen by the time of the Conservative Party conference in October.

A Tory leadership race will begin in earnest over the summer months with the winner succeeding Johnson as prime minister, but even before Johnson formally indicated he would resign, there was already some leadership jostling.

Suella Braverman, the attorney general, and Steve Baker, a fervent Brexiteer, have both declared their intention to run.

But who is Braverman, and what has she said about the situation?

Here is everything you need to know.

What has Suella Braverman said?

Despite asking for the Prime Minister to step down, Suella Braverman insisted she would stay in her position as Attorney General.

The Cabinet minister, who had previously been a fervent Johnson supporter, told Peston on ITV that recent events had been handled "appallingly” by the Prime Minister.

She said: “The balance has tipped now in favour of saying that the Prime Minister – it pains me to say it – but it’s time to go.”

In the event of a leadership contest, Braverman declared she would throw her hat into the ring.

That contest is now a near-certainty.

Britain’s Attorney General Suella Braverman attends a Cabinet meeting in May 2022 (Photo: Oli Scarff - WPA Pool/Getty Images)Britain’s Attorney General Suella Braverman attends a Cabinet meeting in May 2022 (Photo: Oli Scarff - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Britain’s Attorney General Suella Braverman attends a Cabinet meeting in May 2022 (Photo: Oli Scarff - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

She told Peston: “My first duty is to the country, Robert, and as attorney I’m the senior law officer.

“And we’re in a crisis and I have statutory legal and constitutional duties… I don’t want to resign because I have that duty. We need an attorney in government.”

Who is she?

Prior to being chosen by Johnson as the top legal official in February 2020, Braveman served as the MP for Fareham from May 2015 to May 2019.

She was reappointed to her ministerial job in September after becoming the first Cabinet-level minister to take maternity leave.

She was able to take time off from her ministerial responsibilities only after special legislation was approved by Parliament.

During the confidence vote last month, Braverman voiced optimism that the PM would triumph by a wide margin.

The Euro-sceptic had backed Johnson ever since she served as the chair of the pro-Brexit European Research Group.

Could she be the next PM?

Braverman is the only person to officially throw her hat in the ring; Steve Baker and others have only made strong suggestions that they will stand.

Given the party grandees who are already rumoured to be in the running for the leadership, Braverman is seen as somewhat of an outsider.

There is no shortage of people in the potential running for the top job, including Rishi Sunak and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, who cut short an official trip to Indonesia and is anticipated to make a statement.

Truss has held various positions under three Tory prime ministers - David Cameron, Theresa May and Johnson - and is the UK’s chief negotiator with the European Union.

Among the other names being touted as possible successors, Penny Mordaunt, Michael Gove, Jeremy Hunt and Dominic Raab, have all been mentioned.