Politics

Braverman Backs Truss In Tory Management Race As Occasion’s Proper Picks Candidate

Support for the foreign secretary comes despite reservations about Truss campaigning against Brexit, although she has latterly been an enthusiast for leaving the European Union.

The move suggests the right of the party is looking to rally round a single candidate. Though not all Braverman’s supporters will automatically swing behind Truss, influential Tory Steve Baker’s vote comes with her.

“Suella has my complete loyalty,” Baker said. “What she has decided, I will support.”

It also represents a blow to Kemi Badenoch, who is seen as the other right-wing hope to keep Sunak or Mordaunt – who both actually voted for Brexit – out of No 10. Allies of Boris Johnson have also backed Truss.

After her elimination, Braverman chose to repeatedly criticize Mordaunt, particularly over trans rights: “I think she said a trans woman is a woman, I disagree with that.”

Braverman was highlighting the ministerial and other maternity allowances act, where she claims Mordaunt, a minister overseeing the legislation, “did resist the inclusion of the word woman and the word mother and did only concede after unsustainable pressure from the House of Lords”.

Mordaunt, a trade minister, has in the past denied this, saying the original gender-neutral wording had been drafted by someone else and that she changed it to “use female terms”.

Sunak maintained his lead after the second ballot of Tory MPs, finishing top with 101 votes – 13 more than in yesterday’s first round.

Mordaunt finished second with 83 votes, up 16 from Wednesday, while Truss came third with 64, 14 more than the previous round.

Badenoch was in fourth with the support of 49 MPs, up from 40 in the last round, while Tom Tugendhat won the backing of 32, down from 37.

The remaining five candidates will now enter the third round of voting, which will take place on Monday.

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