How dare Tories try to distance themselves from Braverman’s anti-LGBTQ+ agenda now

An edited image of Suella Braverman in monochrome infront of a pink and blue background.

Suella Braverman appears to have dealt her own Conservative Party leadership aspirations a blow with her latest anti-LGBTQ+ tirade – but seeing senior Tories attempt to distance themselves from her post-election defeat begs the question as to where they’ve been for the last five years.

Former home secretary Braverman propelled herself back into the headlines this week after once again ranting about Pride flags, trans youth healthcare and other things that she appears to know little about.

Her recent speech at a right-wing conference in the US saw her blame the Conservatives’ recent election loss on Progress Pride flags being flown over government buildings and admit she’s “physically repulsed” by the idea of trans youth healthcare. Her comments were so inflammatory that even other outspokenly anti-trans Conservative MPs such as Badenoch appear to think it was all a bit much.

Others like Ben Houchen, who criticised Braverman as a “cack-handed” outlier who “misjudged” how viable open hostility to minorities might be in a future Tory leadership campaign, seem to overlook a pretty obvious fact: this is all just par for the course for the Conservative party in 2024.

However repugnant Braverman’s most recent comments are, at their core they’re only as malicious as anything else she has said about LGBTQ+ people in her recent political career.

Suella Braverman during her National Conservatism Conference speech.
Suella Braverman’s latest rant is nothing new for the Tories – far from it. (Getty)

The Tory Party is still one where openly disrespecting a person’s identity is a great way to instigate a round of applause at the party conference. It is one where the prime minister jokes about trans people both in public and behind closed doors. It is still one where candidates at leadership hustings say trans women aren’t women as casually as mentioning their favourite ice-cream flavour.

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The Conservative Party’s anti-LGBTQ+ issues did not start and end with Rishi Sunak, and switching him for another leader won’t somehow magically fix the party’s failings. The Conservatives don’t simply need a new lick of paint and a switch of leader, and they can’t pretend that Braverman’s comments are a blip from a fringe MP who just got it wrong.

Braverman’s anti-LGBTQ+ beliefs and recent Tory politics are inherently intertwined. It doesn’t matter how many LGBTQ+ MPs they have or how many politicians speak out against her – the anti-trans rot has seeped into the party’s foundations. It will take much more than simply ostracising Braverman for the party to restore any modicum of credibility with the LGBTQ+ community.

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