Attorney general Suella Braverman announces Tory leadership bid with anti-trans dogwhistle

Suella Braverman wears a red coat with black buttons as she smiles to camera while standing in front of a black door

Attorney general Suella Braverman, who thinks there’s been a “collective frenzy” over trans rights, has said she will run for Tory leadership.

Braverman, who had previously been a close ally to Johnson, spoke 12 hours before it was confirmed by No 10 sources that Boris Johnson would stand down as prime minister.

Speaking to ITV’s Robert Peston on Wednesday night (6 July), Braverman said that there was an “overwhelming sense of despair among Conservative MPs” and that Johnson had  handled matters “appallingly” in recent days.

“I love this country, my parents came here with absolutely nothing and it was Britain that gave them hope, security and opportunity,” Braverman said. “This country has afforded me incredible opportunities in education and in my career.”

She continued: “I owe a debt of gratitude to this country and to serve as prime minister would be the greatest honour, so yes, I will try.”


In the same interview, Suella Braverman said she believed Britain needs to “get rid of all of this woke rubbish” and make the country a safe place for people to espouse anti-trans views.

“We need to get rid of all of this woke rubbish and get back to a country where describing a man and a woman in terms of biology does not mean that you’re going to lose your job,” Braverman said, in an apparent reference to the Maya Forstater tribunal ruling earlier that day.

On Wednesday, a tribunal judge ruled that Forstater, a tax researcher, was discriminated against because of ‘gender-critical’ beliefs.

Braverman made headlines on Sunday (3 July) when she suggested Westminster could block Scotland’s vital and long-promised reform of the Gender Recognition Act, which would make it easier for trans people to get a Gender Recognition Certificate.

She told the Sunday Telegraph that the Scottish parliament would effectively, if their proposals are enacted, be “approving a form of self-identification” and creating a “two-tier system within the United Kingdom”. 

“I can’t foresee how that is workable, whereby north of the border, you may be able to self-identify but a bit south of the border that might not be recognised,” she said. “What effects does that have on our public institutions, our state? It is incredibly worrying and causes a huge amount of uncertainty.”

Suella Braverman said she believes a “rights culture” has “spun out of control” in the UK” and that there is a “collective frenzy” over trans rights.

She argued the rise of trans rights and respect for peoples’ identities has meant the “basics of biology” have been “turned upside down”.

Boris Johnson is set to confirm his resignation on Thursday (7 July), with sources telling the BBC that he has confirmed to 1922 Committee chair Graham Brady that he will stand down.

BBC News reported Johnson hopes to remain as a caretaker leader until the autumn when the Conservative party can elect a new leader, though many are questioning whether this is viable.

It came after a 36-hour period which saw a tidal wave of ministerial and payroll resignations.

Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid sparked the beginning of the end by quitting Cabinet after it emerged the prime minister knew of sexual misconduct allegations against former deputy chief whip Chris Pincher when the MP was appointed to the role.