Published On: Tue, Jul 9th, 2024
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Kemi Badenoch ‘rips into’ Rishi Sunak over Tory election campaign | Politics | News

Kemi Badenoch “ripped into” Rishi Sunak over the Tory election campaign at the first shadow cabinet meeting today, according to reports.

The shadow housing secretary, who is seen as a frontrunner for the Conservative leadership, branded Mr Sunak’s decision to call a surprise summer ballot without first telling his cabinet as bordering on “unconstitutional”.

She added that his early return from D-Day commemorations was “disastrous” and blamed it for colleagues such as Penny Mordaunt losing their seats. The former business secretary also said some Tories are failing to grasp the “enormity” of the party’s defeat.

She said ex-home secretary Suella Braverman, another Conservative leadership hopeful, appeared to be having a “very public” nervous breakdown following a series of outspoken interventions.

And she emphasised the importance of shadow cabinet discussions not being leaked.

Her blistering contribution came after other shadow ministers paid tribute to the former prime minister. Mr Sunak apologised for the devastating election loss and said he took full responsibility.

A source told The Times they were surprised by the way Mrs Badenoch had “ripped into” the ex-premier after his apology.

It comes as shadow home secretary James Cleverly has called for party unity as he warned against “bitter infighting and finger pointing”.

Writing in the newspaper, he said: “We must get our act together. We need to unite in order to deliver. It will take humility and hard work, to recover our reputation for competence and integrity, to rebuild trust in our party, and unite behind a broad platform that will give people a reason to vote Conservative again.

“We must do this, for the sake of our party and country, so we can put ourselves in the best possible position to win the next general election and once again deliver for the British people.”

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