Calls for Sunak to block Braverman speaking at right-wing conference

Rishi Sunak is being called on to block former home secretary Suella Braverman from speaking at a right-wing conference alongside figures who have been investigated for extremism and allied with Vladimir Putin.

Shadow paymaster general Jonathan Ashworth has written to the Prime Minister demanding he intervene over the Tory MP for Fareham’s planned attendance at the National Conservatism event in Brussels.

Among those set to join Ms Braverman at the convention are Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, a key supporter of Mr Putin, and former German spy chief Hans-Georg Maassen, who recently revealed he had been placed under observation for suspected hard-right links.

Reform UK honorary president Nigel Farage is also expected to take to the stage at the event next week.

In a letter to the PM, Mr Ashworth invoked the memory of Tory wartime leader Sir Winston Churchill in urging him to take action to stop Ms Braverman “giving oxygen to these divisive and dangerous individuals”.

“Britain’s former home secretary, someone you appointed, plans to stand side-by-side with the global far-right in Brussels,” he said.

“The prospect of a senior Tory politician demeaning the great office she held, and the country she represents, shows just how far the once-great party of Churchill has fallen on your watch.”

Nigel Farage
Nigel Farage is also expected to speak at the event (Victoria Jones/PA)

Ms Braverman has long been a thorn in the Prime Minister’s side, with critics accusing her of having run a leadership campaign while in Cabinet and pointing to speeches at events such as the National Conservatism conference last May.

She was finally sacked as home secretary last November after writing an unauthorised article criticising the police’s handling of pro-Palestinian protests.

Under Boris Johnson’s government in 2020, Conservative backbencher Daniel Kawczynski was reprimanded for attending a National Conservatism conference in Rome, with a Tory spokesman condemning the views of some other speakers.

Number 10, the Conservative Party and Ms Braverman have been contacted for comment.