Everyone that Suella Braverman has managed to anger with her claims about Palestine protests

Everyone that Suella Braverman has managed to anger with her claims about Palestine protests
Yvette Cooper calls for Suella Braverman to be sacked after comments on …
House of Commons

Oh, Suella Braverman. You’ve got to admit she is an expert in riling people up.

However, her most recent comments on pro-Palestine marches might be her finest work yet.

In an incendiary piece in The Times, the home secretary said the police were “playing favourites” with protest groups and called pro-Palestinian rallies “hate marches”.

In doing so, she has alienated the police, pro-Palestine protesters, opposition parties and even some people within her own party.

Oh, and she’s also somewhat impressively managed to enrage people in Northern Ireland, too.

That’s a lot of different groups. Here’s why people are annoyed.

The police

Let’s start with an obvious one. Braverman said in her op-ed that police were not treating pro-Palestine marches as harshly as far-right and nationalist protests in the past.

She suggested that law enforcement were using a “double standard” and that they should come down more harshly on the current protests calling for an end to civilian deaths in Gaza.

Critics say her comments undermine the authority of police forces.

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey added: “[She] is now putting police officers in harm's way ahead of far right protesters flocking to the capital this weekend.”

Metropolitan Police boss Mark Rowley has said the march may only be stopped if there is a threat of serious disorder, and that the “very high threshold” has not been reached.

Carl Court/Getty Images

The Northern Irish

Okay, this one’s a bit more complex, but it hinges on the fact that Braverman used Northern Ireland as a point of comparison as she called pro-Palestinian protests “hate marches”.

She wrote that the marches are “an assertion of primacy by certain groups – particularly Islamists – of the kind we are more used to seeing in Northern Ireland.

“Also disturbingly reminiscent of Ulster are the reports that some of Saturday's march group organisers have links to terrorist groups, including Hamas.”

There was some debate on Thursday about whether Braverman aimed her comments at groups loyal to the UK, or those calling for the reunification of Ireland. The former are better known for holding marches.

However, the BBC reported that “a source close to the home secretary” had said she was referencing the activities of “dissident republicans”.

Nonetheless, both sides have criticised her comments.

Colum Eastwood, leader of the unionist SDLP party, said the comments displayed “aggressive ignorance”.

Meanwhile, Rev Mervyn Gibson, grand secretary of loyalist group the Orange Order, said Braverman should be more careful in her choice of language.

Pro-Palestine protesters

Braverman really went in here. We’ve already covered the “hate marches” comment, and the fact she does not believe the marches are “merely a cry for help for Gaza”.

She called the marches “pro-Palestinian mobs”.

Critics say Braverman’s comments are designed to demonise everyone attending the marches, which have predominantly called for peace during a time when more than 10,000 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces, including 4,000 children, according to the UN.

Carl Court / Getty Images

Her own party

This is the really impressive one.

Rishi Sunak’s office distanced itself from the comments this morning, with insiders reportedly insisting they did not approve the comments.

The PM’s spokesperson said Sunak has “full confidence” in Braverman this morning.

However, this is what one political correspondent had to say about the mood in Whitehall after the comments.

Meanwhile, Conservative minister Paul Scully said: “We've got to make sure that we concentrate on dampening things down rather than fuelling that sort of hatred and that division.”

Senior Conservatives told The Independent her comments are “unhinged”, “appalling” and “ignorant” and called on Rishi Sunak to sack her, after she “stuck two fingers up” at No 10.

One former Tory minister said: “She should be fired”.

Another ex-cabinet minister added: “She is obviously goading Sunak into sacking her now.”


Opposition parties

Of course, pretty much every opposition party has slammed Braverman’s comments.

Here’s what shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper had to say:

It’s worth noting that the role of home secretary carries a rather a lot of responsibility, and whipping people up into a frenzy like this is not generally part of the job description.

But hey, each to their own!

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