The removal of Suella Braverman from the cabinet by Rishi Sunak today lands her on the backbenches.

Look out for a lot of excitable media coverage on how much trouble this will bring the Prime Minister. Braverman will be cast as a leadership rival from the Tory Right, a leader in-waiting if the Conservatives are crushed at the next election.

This is based on a misunderstanding, particularly on the left, of the situation. While anything is possible in a Tory party that made Liz Truss leader, for seven weeks, Suella Braverman is not well-placed politically to take over or even to lead a significant faction. Far from there being a large group of Tory MPs who support her, the fan club is reliably estimated as being under a dozen strong. It may only be as large as seven MPs, and that includes Braverman herself.

She is not popular out in the country either. While some of her positions are popular, polls show the devoted fanbase is small. Her favorability numbers have long been poor. Even among 2019 Conservative voters she last month had a net favorability rating of only +1 according to the pollster Savanta.

What is much more likely than Braverman becoming Tory leader is that she will out of office become an active member of the conservative entertainment complex, whose headquarters is, increasingly, GB News. There she can surely get a show, as other Tory MPs have done. These appearances will then be written up by assorted newspapers.

The rise of GB News – with its earnest sloganeering and simplistic take on complex problems – is going to be a problem for the Tories when they land in opposition. It amplifies the voices of the Tory Right, which is actually a relatively small grouping in the parliamentary party and will be even smaller after the general election. This will mean trouble for a Tory leader of the opposition, though, because it will make it look as though the Right is bigger than it is. There is also a non-Tory alternative off to the right, in the shape of Reform. It will be a headache for the Tory leader. That person is very unlikely to be Suella Braverman.

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