After Suella Braverman’s speech in the US yesterday a close friend and ally of hers texted her saying: “You have moved yourself up to another level.”
He was right.
If you want to make a name for yourself as a significant international politician then Washington DC is the place to do it – and Suella Braverman more than succeeded yesterday.
The road to Washington DC was a long hard one for Britain’s Home Secretary.
On the way it has seen her being a Brexit spartan, resigning as a minister, a failed leadership bid, huge criticism over the apparently endless number of small boats with illegal migrants and a queue of detractors wanting to have her sacked.
But Mrs Braverman has not just weathered the storms, she has now emerged as not just a leading British voice on the right, a potential leadership candidate in her own party, but as of yesterday a global voice of authority for a reemerging international right.
Mrs Braverman is now up there with Italy’s Giorgia Meloni – another woman slandered as “an extremist” and “far right” by the centrists and left – as the face of a new generation of politicians willing to make a stand for conservative values.
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Braverman’s bold and unashamedly frank speech at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) was stunning in its clarity.
By deconstructing what is wrong with the current system of international law on illegal migration and asylum rules and taking aim at the outdated Refugee Convention, she became the first serious Western democratic politician to explain clearly what is wrong.
It was all done in Braverman’s typically honest and open style with an approach that looked at the problems and sought to explain the solutions.
No other politician – not Meloni, Donald Trump or Hungary’s Viktor Orban – has done such an effective demolition of the centrist international order on human rights laws as Mrs Braverman delivered yesterday.
And in so doing she is no longer just a domestic politician struggling with a crisis but a global figure leading on finding the solutions needed.
The speech has consequences at home as well.
An ally of Mrs Braverman’s told Express.co.uk that the speech was part of an attempt to frame her “as the natural leadership candidate for the right [of the Conservative Party]”.
The belief is that it will be between Braverman, Leader of the House Penny Mordaunt (“the candidate of the left”, and Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch (“who has lost the support of the right over Brexit”).
One former Badenoch supporter was very impressed with Mrs Braverman’s “sound” speech and has indicated that their support could now be going to her.
But there is more to it than mere political manoeuvring, this was about reframing Braverman’s wider perception.
Many of her critics, not least on the Remainer left of the party, have often tried to portray her as “shallow” and “stupid”.
They were out in force last night briefing the completely partial BBC and others that she should be sacked by Rishi Sunak or reshuffled.
Sunak to his credit has backed her speech.
As one Tory MP noted: “The BBC, Sky News, lefty NGOs, the UN and the Guardian all seem to be upset with her – clearly she has upset the right people.”
CNN also took note but the New York Post on the right praised her.
Far from being “stupid”, Mrs Braverman is actually far brighter than the vast majority of her colleagues.
One friend said: “The speech also shows Suella as somebody with intellectual depth. All of us who know her know this but it is time the rest of the world understood that too.
“She is not just an instinctively good politician like Priti Patel but is a genuine thinker.
“After all she is a Cambridge graduate, studied at the Sorbonne in Paris, is a fluent French speaker.
“She has the intellect to develop the real conservative policies on the right as well as lead.”
Braverman is certainly now the candidate of the Common Sense Group and New Conservatives on the right of the Tories.
It seems likely that as a former Brexit Spartan, she will also be the first choice of the Brexiteer European Research Group (ERG).
But more than that she is going to become a focal point for conservative parties around the world, especially for those seeking to abandon centrist positions.
Next year could see the right take over the European Parliament and Donald Trump elected as President – Braverman will be in a perfect place to deal with them all.