Suella Braverman – latest: Tory civil war over home secretary police row as Sunak urged to sack her

Tory minister refuses multiple times to say PM has confidence in Suella Braverman

Rishi Sunak is facing a Tory civil war as he is urged to sack Suella Braverman over her controversial comments ahead of the pro-Palestine march today.

The home secretary has been accused of stirring “hatred and division” after she claimed the police are biased.

But her job is on the line after Downing Street made clear that it had not approved an extraordinary article in which she accused officers of playing favourites over a pro-Palestine march on Armistice Day.

No 10 says it is investigating after it demanded that changes be made to the piece but the request was ignored. As the home secretary’s claims sparked a furious outcry, one Conservative minister broke ranks to accuse her of fuelling “hatred and division”.

Now, leaked WhatsApp messages between Tory MPs reveal discord in the party as Braverman backers and supporters exchanged heated messages on her comments on the police.

Meanwhile, George Osborne, the former Tory chancellor, said the prime minister risked looking weak if he decided not to axe Ms Braverman.


Military top brass turn on Suella Braverman over pro-Palestine march ban row

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on British Muslims, a cross-party committee of MPs, hit out at the home secretary’s rhetoric, which has seen her describe the demonstrations as “hate marches”, warning she is “inspiring far-right” to engage in Islamophobia.

Ms Braverman’s job is on the line after Downing Street made clear that it had not approved an extraordinary article in which she accused officers of playing favourites by tolerating the Armistice Day march while using stronger tactics against right-wing protests, with senior Tories urging Mr Sunak to sack her.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain11 November 2023 08:52


Should Suella Braverman resign over pro-Palestine march row? Join The Independent Debate

Ms Braverman’s job is on the line after Downing Street made clear that it had not approved an extraordinary article in which she accused the Metropolitan Police of bias in favour of left-wing protests, including a planned pro-Palestinian march on Armistice Day this Saturday.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain11 November 2023 08:02


Home secretary under fire as Armistice Day arrives

Home Secretary Suella Braverman remains under fire from all sides after her allegations of bias were disowned by Downing Street and criticised by the Police Federation.

The allegations of police bias, made by the Home Secretary in The Times, followed pressure from senior Tories on Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley to ban a pro-Palestinian demonstration on Saturday.

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected take to the streets of London for the march, which coincides with Armistice Day.

In her opinion piece, Mrs Braverman had written that “pro-Palestinian mobs” are “largely ignored, even when clearly breaking the law”, while aggressive right-wing protesters are met with a stern response by officers, whom she accused of “double standards”.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt distanced himself from her comments, signalling Cabinet unease by telling reporters “the words that she used are not words that I myself would have used”.

A Downing Street spokeswoman said the Prime Minister “has confidence” in Mrs Braverman, but did not rule out a Cabinet reshuffle.

(PA Wire)

Maryam Zakir-Hussain11 November 2023 07:44


Braverman ‘fanning flames of hate’ towards Muslims over march row, cross-party MPs warn

Suella Braverman has been accused of “fanning the flames of hate” towards Muslims after her attacks on pro-Palestine rallies prompted a furious outcry over concerns she is fuelling “hatred and division”.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on British Muslims, a cross-party committee of MPs, hit out at the home secretary’s rhetoric, which has seen her describe the demonstrations as “hate marches”, warning she is “inspiring far-right” to engage in Islamophobia.

Our race correspondent Nadine White has the full report:

Andy Gregory11 November 2023 04:01


Former top civil servant unable to see how Sunak has confidence in Braverman

The former top civil servant in the Home Office has said he does not understand how Rishi Sunak could continue to have confidence in Suella Braverman after her claims of police bias over pro-Palestine protests.

Sir David Normington, who was permanent secretary in the Home Office from 2005 until 2011, told BBC Radio 4: “There are 2,000 ordinary police officers who will be on the streets doing a very difficult job this weekend.

“They have the right to expect the Home Secretary to be supporting them. Instead, she seems to be undermining them and actually making things worse. And that’s just not the job of the home secretary. I hear the prime minister has confidence in her. I don’t know how he can.”

The ex-mandarin said he “despaired” about her piece for The Times, adding: “She’s tried to interfere with the operational independence of the police. She’s accused them of partiality in the way they police demonstrations. She’s used inflammatory language. She’s even made some absolutely crass comments and comparisons about Northern Ireland.

“That’s at least four reasons why she’s unsuitable to be home secretary.”

Andy Gregory11 November 2023 03:04


Are protests putting veterans off attending the Cenotaph this weekend?

Fears over far-right groups and pro-Palestinian protesters clashing this weekend have left some veterans making the decision to stay away from Remembrance Sunday at the Cenotaph in London.

Liz McConaghy, now 41, was the longest-serving female crewman on the Royal Air Force Chinook Fleet. She evacuated thousands of soldiers out of Afghanistan in her 17-year career and has now decided to skip the event.

“I think it is still divided with the veterans. Lots of people are going to stand their ground. I think a lot will go just to prove a point but it should be about remembering.

“I think people need to go for the right reasons. We can see everything that has been going on in London this week and we just feel a bit abandoned by our country. It’s our one day of the year and it is time to get behind us. We all feel a bit abandoned and disillusioned this week.”

My colleague Barney Davis has the full report:

Andy Gregory11 November 2023 02:02


Police Federation hits out at Braverman’s ‘ill-informed criticism from the sidelines’

The Police Federation has warned that police will have a hard enough job this weekend without “ill-informed criticism from the sidelines”, following Suella Braverman’s claims in The Times of a public perception of pro-Palestinian bias in policing protests.

Steve Hartshorn, national chair of the Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers, said: “The policing of protests should be left to those who are charged with that role. They will make a risk assessment based on intelligence available to them and this should be done free of political interference. Our members are the professionals and have been entrusted to fulfil such duties, without fear or favour.

“I encourage all who may attend tomorrow’s march to remain peaceful as is the organisers’ aim. Free peaceful expression of opinions is a cornerstone of our democracy and one we are legally obliged to uphold.

“Officers on the ground are in the unenviable position of having to deal with issues in real time and without the benefit of hindsight.

“It’s not unusual that intelligence collated in the control room may differ to what officers and the public witness or experience at ground level, meaning that sometimes officers may hold back from taking certain actions in order to maintain or try to preserve public order and safety. Evidence is often gathered, and action taken once situations become less volatile, or after the event even, when it is safer for all.

“This weekend is going to be demanding enough for police officers, without the need for unfair or ill-informed criticism from the sidelines.

“I therefore implore the public attending events, marches and protests this weekend to be respectful and peaceful. And to politicians, please leave operational policing decisions to the police.”

Andy Gregory11 November 2023 01:03


‘Unacceptable’ for Braverman to ‘tamper with police independence’

It is unacceptable for Suella Braverman “to publicly attempt to tamper with the operational independence of policing”, the Police Federation has warned.

Steve Hartshorn, national chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, which represents rank and file officers, said operational policing decisions must remain independent of political interference.

“It is entirely reasonable that the Home Secretary might raise concerns with senior police leaders in private, it is unacceptable to publicly attempt to tamper with the operational independence of policing,” he said.

“Policing must be free of politics. Operational independence is a key pillar of UK policing and must be respected. Policing does not comment on political manoeuvrings, and we expect to be able to carry out our duties without political interference.”

Andy Gregory10 November 2023 23:59


Exclusive: Pressure on government to act to stop ‘cruel’ incarceration of autistic patients

The government must commit to funding social care and passing its long-delayed Mental Health Bill to prevent a repeat of failures that led to the “cruel and inhuman” treatment of an autistic man locked up for over 10 years, experts and MPs have warned.

In the wake of his story, the government has been condemned over his care and for failing to address the issues that have led to thousands of people with learning disabilities and autism being locked away in mental health hospitals for years.

Andy Gregory10 November 2023 23:02


Suella Braverman to survive as home secretary this weekend, report suggests

Rishi Sunak is not expected to sack Suella Braverman this weekend, with the prime minister likely to hold back from firing the home secretary while major war commemorations and several potential public order events take place this weekend, the i newspaper reports.

And BBC political correspondent Iain Watson tweeted that: “Downing St says the ‘ongoing internal process’ will continue in to how Suella Braverman’s Times article about police bias got published without No 10 approving the final text.”

Andy Gregory10 November 2023 22:00

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