Suella Braverman publicly slams Kemi Badenoch as Tory anger spills over | Politics | News

The Tory Party has spent a second day publicly rowing with itself, in a sign they are not yet learning to cope with being in opposition.

Kemi Badenoch and Suella Braverman publicly went to war with each other as the forthcoming leadership campaign ramps up, after a comment from Ms Badenoch made at yesterday’s inaugural shadow cabinet meeting leaked.

In a swipe at her expected rival, Ms Badenoch accused Ms Braverman of having a “very public nervous breakdown”, among other criticism launched at Rishi Sunak and the rest of the party.

This afternoon, Ms Badenoch denounced the shadow cabinet leak, saying the party will never be able to address last week’s election result if there’s no forum for free discussion in private.

She added: “We need to be honest with one another in private, and united in the direction we take afterwards”.

However a furious Suella Braverman openly replied to her former cabinet colleague: “I’d be interested in knowing whether Kemi thinks I’m having a ‘very public nervous breakdown’. #honesty #unity #wedontleak”.

Despite the public tiff, this afternoon Ms Badenoch demanded that Tory leadership rivals sign a ‘non-aggression pact’ to avoid bruising blue-on-blue attacks during the forthcoming campaign.

The spat comes as new polling reveals Ms Badenoch is less popular among Tory members than the former Home Secretary.

Should the pair of right-wingers make it to the final two, Tory members would hand the leadership to Ms Braverman, according to new findings from JL Partners.

The poll suggests Ms Badenoch could only expect to beat James Cleverly should he run, and would tie with the centrist Tom Tugendhat.

Mr Tugendhat will be buoyed by the poll, which shows him beating preconceived expectations and having a real shot of securing the crown.

In a further farce this afternoon, the party’s backbenchers went to war with the influential 1922 Committee for a second time in 24 hours.

After Mark Francois brandished yesterday’s chairman vote as “bent” due to being told the incorrect time voting would conclude, today Tory MPs were left spitting feathers after a vote for which MPs would join the Tory Party Board similarly fell into chaos.

Mark Garnier, who submitted his nomination papers this morning, went into the committee room to vote only to find he had not been included on the ballot paper.

Newly-elected Chairman Bob Blackman suspended voting while they worked out what had gone wrong, only to resume voting all over again with the correct ballot papers despite calls from MPs to abandon the process and resume it at a later date.

Some MPs who had already voted with the incorrect ballots said they had gone home, and so couldn’t return to vote again.

Leaked WhatsApp messages from Tory MPs showed widespread fury about the proceedings, with one messaging: “This is a total and utter farce. Shag in a brothel and organisation therefore in the negative comes to mind!”

Another fumed: “This needs to be re-run properly next week after the King’s Speech.”

A third summed up: “This is a nonsense. The election needs to be done properly next week or be invalid. Unfortunately this is what happens if you rush things”.

A senior Tory backbencher told the Express: “The 1922 Committee are incapable of organising a social event in a beer production factory!”

Once finally elected, the Party Board and the 1922 Committee will meet to begin finalising the timetable of the Conservative Party leadership election.

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