Suella Braverman Sparks Fresh Tory Row By Calling For Deal With Nigel Farage

Suella Braverman speaking at the National Conservatism Conference in April.
Suella Braverman speaking at the National Conservatism Conference in April. Omar Havana via Getty Images

Suella Braverman has sparked a fresh Tory row after she called on the party to reach an “accommodation” with Nigel Farage.

The former home secretary, who is widely expected to mount a bid for the Conservative leadership, said she would “welcome anybody into the party who wants us to win”.

Her comments, in an interview with GB News, put her at odds with other senior Tory figures who have rejected any sort of deal with the Reform UK leader.

A poll yesterday found that nearly half of Tory Party members want to merge with Reform.

Braverman said there was “only room for one Conservative Party on the right of British politics”.

“There’s very little I disagree with when it comes to Nigel Farage and I met thousands of people throughout this campaign, and many, many people said to me, I’m a lifelong Tory voter, but I’m going to vote Reform,” she said.

“They are feeling betrayed. They feel let down. They feel politically homeless because of our failures. So we have to address the issue of Reform. I’m not really interested in the form of what that takes, but we need to find an accommodation with Reform, with Nigel Farage, so that we can take the fight to Labour and win the next election.”

Asked if she would welcome Farage into the Tory Party, Braverman said: “I would welcome anybody into the party who wants us to win, who supports the Conservatives, who will support Conservative candidates and councillors and support our effort to win elections.

“We can’t turn away supporters right now. We need allies, and we need friends, and boy, do we need them.”

But former Treasury minister Gareth Davies this morning rejected any suggestion of a deal with Reform UK, who he said had “enabled a Labour government”.

He said: “They’ve prevented dozens of Conservative members of parliament from coming back to help reduce taxation and reduce immigration, so any party that has an affront to Conservatism is not a party that I think we should let in.

“They’ve actively tried to destroy the Conservative and enacted a policy which has enabled many of my colleagues who are true Conservatives to exit parliament and exit government and that’s not something we should entertain.”

Ben Houchen, the Tory mayor of Teesside went even further in his criticisms of Braverman, who he said had “shot herself in the foot”.

He told Times Radio: “The fact that she continues to entertain Reform, and even I think in an interview the other day, didn’t rule out joining Reform, shows just how out of step she is.

“I also think if the Conservative Party decides to go down the route of somebody like Suella Braverman, then we can absolutely see ourselves in opposition for generations to come.

“The road of redemption for the Conservative Party can be as long or as short as we wish to make it. And the idea that we should be more right wing...that is not the Conservative Party that I recognise.

“And I absolutely wouldn’t support that. She, before the leadership contest has even started, has shot herself in the foot.”

Braverman sparked anger earlier in the week with a speech in Washington in which she said the Pride flag represented “a horrible political campaign”.

She also hit out at the transitioning of young people, which she described as “mutilation” which left her “physically repulsed”.

And she went to war with Tory leadership rival Kemi Badenoch on X in response to comments she reportedly made at a shadow cabinet meeting on Tuesday.