Suella Braverman accused of ‘trying to get fired’ with ‘dangerous’ Palestine protest remarks

Suella Braverman accused of ‘trying to get fired’ with ‘dangerous’ Palestine protest remarks

Home secretary Suella Braverman has been accused of “looking to get fired” by Rishi Sunak in order to launch her bid to become the next leader of the Tory party.

Senior Tory peer Baroness Warsi accused Ms Braverman of being “dangerous and divisive” for her comments on pro-Palestine rallies which “embolden the far right”.

And Colin Bloom, the government’s former adviser on faith engagement, said the home secretary – who has described the protests as “hate marches” – was “goading No 10” to sack her.

“I think that language is deliberately designed to goad No 10 into probably firing her – I think Suella is looking to be fired,” he told BBC Newsnight.

Mr Bloom added: “It’s not just those [hate march] comments, it’s the comments that she made about people sleeping in tents. I thinks she is goading No 10 to get rid of her because she wants to launch her leadership campaign.”

Baroness Warsi launched a blistering attacked on Ms Braverman and other “arsonists” in the party, accusing the home secretary of using a push to ban the pro-Palestine march planned for Saturday in bid to stoke the culture wars.

“She fights culture wars. She doesn’t fix things, she breaks things,” the former Tory chair told Sky News. “I think she’s dangerous and she’s divisive.”

Baroness Warsi said: “We have now, sadly, some of my colleagues in government who project as patriots but they are indeed arsonists. They set this country alight – they pit community against community, they create these fires. And that is not the job of a government.”

The Tory peer added: “The job of a government is to keep us all safe. And you do that by creating a sense of ease, not by fighting culture wars.”

Suella Braverman accused of trying to get fired by Rishi Sunak (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Suella Braverman accused of trying to get fired by Rishi Sunak (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

The Metropolitan Police has urged Pro-Palestine protest organisers not to hold demonstrations on Armistice Day amid concerns about breakaway groups causing violence.

Scotland Yard has also said officers would use “all powers and tactics” at their disposal to prevent disruption – including Section 13 of the Public Order Act 1986 – which allows the banning of a procession when there is a risk of serious disorder.

Labour leader Keir Starmer accused Ms Braverman of using security issues as a “platform for her own ambition”. Speaking in the Commons on Tuesday, he condemned the home secretary for treating the challenge of extremism as “legitimate terrain for her divisive brand of politics”.

Justice secretary Alex Chalk declined to repeat Ms Braverman’s description of pro-Palestinian rallies as “hate marches”.

He told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: “There is no doubt there are elements on these marches that I’m afraid are espousing hate ... but equally there will be those people who are there expressing their anguish at some of the untold suffering.”

Protesters at pro-Palestine rally in London (PA)
Protesters at pro-Palestine rally in London (PA)

Mr Chalk also declined to repeat Ms Braverman’s much-criticised remarks about rough-sleeping homelessness being a “lifestyle choice”. It comes as Mr Braverman’s plan to restrict charities from giving out tents to homeless people was junked from the King’s Speech by No 10.

Mr Sunak is uncomfortable with the language used by Ms Braverman after she was condemned for saying rough sleeping was a “lifestyle choice”, The Independent understands.

Ms Braverman’s plans are now undergoing closer scrutiny in government after being ditched from the government’s legislative slate, a move first reported by BBC Newsnight.

Mr Chalk told Sky News he would “take a different approach” – but appeared to suggest her plan to restrict tents had merit. “We shouldn’t do anything which entrenches people’s rough sleeping … So to be kind you sometimes have to be robust and you sometimes have to be really quite firm.”

Tory grandee Dominic Grieve said Ms Braverman was “not fit” to be home secretary. The former cabinet minister told The Independent: “The home secretary’s comments on homelessness being a lifestyle choice are a million miles from reality.”

On her response to the pro-Palestine rallies, the ex-attorney general added: “The marches may attract some people who uttering hate, it’s also attracting people who are engaged in a perfectly law-abiding right to protest. To describe them as hate marches is inflammatory language. She is not a fit and proper person to hold this office.”

Former Labour cabinet minister Peter Mandelson has told The Times’ How To Win an Election podcast that Ms Braverman is a “born disruptor”, adding: “What she wants to do is to follow in the trail of Johnson and Truss as the person capable of upending everything in sight.”

Tory peer Daniel Finkelstein said Ms Braverman was trying to “push as far as she possibly can, probably without getting the sack”. He added: “What she wants to be is the right-wing candidate of the next leadership election. So this is not is not aimed at Rishi Sunak… It’s more aimed at Kemi Badenoch and James Cleverly.”