Suella Braverman: The rise and fall of the ex-CUCA Chairman
How did the former president of the Cambridge University Conservative Association rise through the Tory ranks to make Home Secretary, just to lose the position twice?
Since her recent dismissal from the post of Home Secretary by Conservative Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Suella Braverman has been a prominent figure in UK political news. Braverman has held the position of Home Secretary twice, firstly between the 6th and the 19th October 2022, and then again from the 25th October 2022 until her sacking on 13th November 2023. Having maintained a far-right position in the Conservative party, Braverman has faced her fair share of controversy.
Cambridge University and the CUCA
Braverman’s interest in politics began long before her entrance into Parliament. While reading Law at Queens’ College at the University of Cambridge, she was chairman of the Cambridge University Conservative Association (CUCA).
Much like today, her time at Cambridge was not free from scandal. In May 2000, the 522nd issue of Cambridge’s Varsity Newspaper printed a picture of Braverman on the front page alongside the title “Conservatives in Corruption Crisis”. The article accused Braverman of rigging the elections in her bid for chairman by attempting to buy votes.
Braverman strongly denied these claims in the following week’s issue of Varsity entitled “Conservatives not in Crisis”. She argued that since she was running unopposed in the election, the accusations were “ludicrous” and came from Liberal Democratic opposition.
It seems the tendency for controversy that has characterised the rest of Braverman’s political career can be traced back to her early experiences at University.
Entrance into politics
In 2015, Braverman entered the House of Commons as Member of Parliament for Fareham. In 2016, she campaigned to leave the European Union in the EU membership referendum and in 2018 was appointed as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Department for Exiting the European Union. However, she later resigned in November 2018 in protest against the drafted Brexit deal by the May government.
In 2020, she was appointed as Attorney General for England and Wales and Advocate General for Northern Ireland. In the crises of 2022, she called for Boris Johnson to resign. Following this, she made a bid to stand for Prime Minister but was eliminated from the Conservative Party Leadership Election. Under the new Truss government, she became Home Secretary in September 2022.