Fareham MP reveals she would stand in a leadership contest

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Suella Braverman.
Suella Braverman.

BRITAIN'S Attorney General has called on Boris Johnson to resign - and signalled her intention to stand in any future leadership contest.

Fareham MP Suella Braverman, who has previously been a staunch supporter of Mr Johnson, has not joined the mass exodus of government ministers.

But she told Peston on ITV that Mr Johnson had handled matters “appallingly” in recent days.

More than 50 ministers have quit in the past three days, fuelling speculation that Mr Johnson will be forced to stand down - possibly as early as today.

Live updates as Hampshire reacts to PM's resignation

Ms Braverman 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.”

On deciding not to resign herself she added: “My first duty is to the country, Robert, and as attorney I’m the senior law officer.

"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.”

Fellow cabinet member Michael Gove was sacked last night after saying the prime minister should resign.

Asked whether she was also likely to be sacked by Mr Johnson for speaking out, Ms Braverman said: "That is his choice, and I will do whatever the prime minister asks me to do.”

Ms Braverman also said she would put her name in the ring if there was a leadership contest.

She said: "I love this country, my parents came here with absolutely nothing and it was Britain that gave them hope, security and opportunity.

"This country has afforded me incredible opportunities in education and in my career. I owe a debt of gratitude to this country and to serve as PM would be the greatest honour, so yes, I will try."

Listing her priorities should she lead the country, she said she would "get rid of all 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".

In a separate development courts minister James Cartlidge resigned today, becoming the 53rd member of the government to step down.

Mr Cartlidge, an MP for South Suffolk since 2015, said Boris Johnson's position was "clearly untenable".

Interviewed on the Today programme on BBC Radio 4 this morning Ms Braverman was asked if Britain still had a functioning government. She replied: “Technically, yes we do.”

Ms Braverman was elected as MP for Fareham in May 2015 before being appointed as Britain's top legal official by Mr Johnson in February 2020.

She became the first cabinet-level minister to take maternity leave and was reappointed to her ministerial position in September.

The Euro-sceptic had been a supporter of Mr Johnson since her days as the chair of the Brexit-backing European Research Group.

During last month’s confidence vote, Ms Braverman expressed hope the PM would win the poll with a large margin.

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