What did Dawn Butler really say about Suella Braverman’s position as Home Secretary?

What did Dawn Butler really say about Suella Braverman’s position as Home Secretary?

Dawn Butler says white home secretary would not get away with Suella Braverman's comments

Full Disclosure with James O’Brien, LBC

Dawn Butler, the Labour MP who was kicked out of the Commons for calling Boris Johnson a “liar” only to eventually be proven right, has now been branded a “racist” by two white men (Lee “30p Lee” Anderson and GB News’ Dan Wootton, to be exact) over comments she made about Suella Braverman, the home secretary.

During an appearance on the Full Disclosure podcast, hosted by LBC's James O’Brien, the Brent politician was asked for her thoughts on Ms Braverman – the Hampshire MP who told a Holocaust survivor she wouldn’t apologise for using terms such as “invasion” to describe immigration and said people protesting housing migrants in hotels are not “racist or bigoted”.

Referencing the homophobic attack against two men in London last month, O’Brien mentioned two gay police officers rang into his radio show to say they have “never experienced homophobia” – with one “victim blaming” and the other saying “as if in brackets, they’re saying everyone else must be exaggerating or it doesn’t exist at all”.

He continued: “What are they trying to do, do you think? … Are they trying to reassure themselves that they’re not going to be…

“Obviously, I’m thinking of Suella Braverman at the moment and [it’s] almost as if she’s trying to prove to people who might be racist that she’s one of them, it seems, sometimes. What do you think the explanation is?”

Butler replied: “I think they’re kidding themselves and they’re extremely delusional in thinking that they will be seen differently when push comes to shove.

“Ultimately, they get promoted because of the things that they are saying.

James O'Brien meets Dawn Butler | LBCwww.youtube.com

“So you can’t really have a white home secretary saying the sort of things that Suella’s saying and get away with it that easily, I don’t think. So it’s very strategic of the government to place people with those kind of views and meaning in those positions.”

And then, just days after the interview went live, Wootton fumed on his GB News show that “Labour’s race-baiter in chief” Butler told “Labour Broadcasting Company shock jock” O’Brien that Braverman was “only in the job to provide cover for the government because of her ethnicity” – a “claim” he said was “clearly racist”.

“’You can’t have a white home secretary getting away with what Suella says?’ What?

“Suella is simply repeating what the majority of her population think: that the invasion of our southern border by illegal immigrants is unacceptable, and it’s putting British lives and livelihoods at risk. The colour, her background, her ethnicity has nothing to do with that – she’s British,” he vented.

Aside from Butler never explicitly stating that this was the reason for Braverman having the job of home secretary, and GB News not showing the additional context of O’Brien referencing the homophobic stabbing in London, we’re not quite sure where this “majority” opposed to a so-called “invasion” are…

Is Dan talking about the June polling by Kantar Public and Oxford’s Migration Observatory which found 60 per cent of the public want immigration to be made easier for ‘high-skilled workers’? Or the YouGov polling published last month which revealed almost half of Brits think Braverman is doing badly as home secretary, and 83 per cent believe the government is doing badly on immigration?

As if that wasn’t enough, Wootton asked deputy Tory chairman Lee Anderson for his two cents on the exchange, which saw the Ashfield MP brand it “probably the most awful, disgusting and quite racist thing I’ve seen” since being elected.

He added: “Suella has been promoted on merit … She has got balls of steel, she’s a superb politician.

“For this female MP to say that, in public, absolutely disgraceful. Keir Starmer needs to call her out, he needs to have a good strong word with her, because the people in this country do not like stuff like that.

“This is disgraceful, Dan. Absolute filth!”

Anderson also agreed with Wootton that when he looks at Braverman, he doesn’t “look at the colour, I look at the person”.

Twitter/X users have since defended Butler from the right-wing outrage:

Even Butler herself has commented on her trending online following the interview, appearing to make a thinly veiled nod to Wootton being unmasked by Byline Times as the man behind the alias ‘Martin Branning’, who the paper says bribed men into “revealing compromising sexual material”.

While Wootton did not respond to claims he is behind the persona, he did issue a lengthy statement on GB News following the report to claim he was "the target of a smear campaign" and while he has "made errors of judgement in the past", the "criminal allegations" against him are "simply untrue".

Butler tweeted: “There’s some dodgy bloke trying to get my attention today. I won’t name him. [To be honest] I don’t know what name he’s using today.

“But as Dawn Butler is trending I thought I would encourage people to read my book. It’ll all make sense once you’ve read it."

Sign up to our free Indy100 weekly newsletter

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

The Conversation (0)