Seven of the worst things Suella Braverman has done this year

Seven of the worst things Suella Braverman has done this year
Suella Braverman planning to deport migrants to Rwanda by summer

The first quarter of the year has come to an end it has been a busy few months in politics.

We've had a budget, new crime policies, migration plans and more - but at least we've had the same prime minister throughout...

And amid the chaos and drama, we've seen our tax go to one manifestly unsuitable politician - the home secretary Suella Braverman.

Braverman has rarely escaped headlines in the last few months, thanks to her controversial policies and politically incorrect (to put it politically correctly) use of language to describe those policies.

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Below, we examine seven of her biggest scandals this year thus far.

1. Claimed thousands on expenses

Braverman hit headlines recently after it emerged she has claimed nearly £25,000 in five years for her London house while living rent-free with her parents when not there.

It is within expenses rules but given she isn't exactly strapped for cash is a bit greedy.

2. Failed to acknowledge Brexit's role in Dover queue chaos

At the beginning of April, Brexit bestowed upon us a massive April Fools by bringing back huge queues in Dover. The French needing to check people's passports as they go through the border has slowed things down comparatively to when - pre-Brexit - people could just cruise through with free movement.

However, Braverman said blaming Brexit for the issue wasn't fair. She told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday: “I don’t think it’s fair to say this is an adverse effect of Brexit. We’ve had many years now since leaving the European Union and there’s been, on the whole, very good operations and processes at the border.”


3. Continued to defend the Rwanda plan

Despite the government's first flights to Rwanda being blocked by courts, the Home Office is still doing the most to try and get the plan (literally) off the ground.

This comes despite sustained scrutiny suggesting the policy isn't exactly great.

For instance, in April Braverman was told that Rwanda's police shot dead 12 refugees in 2018.

According to the US non-profit Human Rights Watch, in February that year, refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo were protesting a reduction in food rations when they were shot at by Rwandan police.

At least eight were immediately killed, one died afterwards from their injuries, while two pregnant women suffered miscarriages – the organisation stated.

But Braverman said she was looking to 2023 not 2018 and insisted Rwanda was still safe.

Labour's Lisa Nandy did a good job of explaining just how nonsensical the policy is.

4. Small boats policy

In March, the home secretary appeared on Sky News to talk about the government's controversial new immigration proposals. The newly announced plans would see asylum seekers arriving in the UK via small boats being detained and deported, and would introduce a yet to be decided annual cap on the number of refugees the UK will offer sanctuary to.

In March, for instance, she got flustered when she was asked whether athlete Mo Farah, who came to this country as a child, would have been deported under it.

Braverman said: “Well, as I said, we are very proud of our world-leading modern slavery regime. We’ve got world-leading protections on human trafficking, proud of protections the Conservative government have put in place to protect genuine victims of modern slavery.”

5. Her comments about grooming gangs

In April, Braverman and prime minister Rishi Sunak unveiled new policies to deal with grooming gangs. This is all very well and good except part of the policy offering, to make it a legal requirement for professionals to report any suspicions of child sexual abuse, was suggested by Keir Starmer ten years ago.

Aside from this she has made the “grooming gang taskforce”, which will help police forces carry out investigations into the problem of child sexual exploitation by groups of men. This is iffy because Braverman pointed to British Pakistani men in particular despite studies showing the majority of cases happen with white men as the perpetrators.

6. Her comments about asylum seekers

In February, some 15 people were arrested after violence erupted during a demonstration outside the Suites Hotel in Knowsley, Merseyside.

But Braverman said people protesting at migrants being housed in hotels are not “racist or bigoted”.

While the home secretary told GB News she condemned violence over the issue, she added that tensions over migrants staying in hotels is “understandable”.

Braverman added violence was “not acceptable” and that “anyone contemplating violence, harassment or intimidation should desist”.

7. Had tense exchange with a Holocaust survivor

After Braverman was last year criticised for calling asylum a "migrant invasion", she was in January confronted by a child survivor of the Holocaust who challenged her language.

The Holocaust survivor, who was not named, introduced herself at an event as someone forced to flee Belgium in 1943 and travel “across war-torn Europe and dangerous seas” before coming to the UK in 1947.

When asked about her language, Braverman responded by saying she “won’t apologise for the language that I’ve used” to “demonstrate the scale of the problem” around immigration.

In the edited video of the interaction, shared by the charity Freedom from Torture, she said: “We mustn’t shy away from saying there’s a problem. I will not shy away from saying we have a problem with people exploiting our generosity, breaking our laws and undermining our system.”

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