Suella Braverman - the home secretary who has already been condemned over telling a Holocaust survivor she won’t apologise for the language she uses to describe immigrants, and for having a “dream” to see a Rwanda deportation flight on the front page of The Telegraph – is back being terrible again.
Ms Braverman is currently in the central African country on a two-day working visit, one which has already been hit with controversy after it was reported the BBC, Guardian, Mirror and TheIndependent weren’t invited on the “taxpayer-funded trip“, but right-leaning news organisations like GB News and The Telegraph were.
Since initially publishing the piece, indy100 was informed BBC Africa have been present throughout the trip, and that media organisations attending are funding their work on the home secretary’s visit themselves, with no government plane provided.
She also had a look around housing on the trip - accommodation which could provide long-term homes to migrants - during which she joked: “I really like your interior designer. I need some advice for myself.”
Now, a picture has surfaced online of the home secretary tilting her head back and laughing on the roof of a building in Rwanda, which is as horrifying as it sounds.
The image – taken by PA photographer Stefan Rousseau - has in fact been cropped, with the full picture showing Ms Braverman laughing with a woman and two men at the top of a building in Kigali which could soon house migrants deported from the UK.
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In a statement issued to indy100, a Home Office spokesperson said: "The image has been cropped and taken clearly out of context. The photo was taken during a visit to see accommodation and opportunities which will be open to asylum seekers relocated to Rwanda through our groundbreaking partnership.
"The home secretary was welcomed by Rwanda's minister of education and new construction graduates to modern, long-term accommodation which will support those who settle in Rwanda."
But while the trending picture has been edited on social media, it doesn’t hide the terrible optics of a government minister laughing at a place designed for those denied asylum and refuge in our country.
And so, Twitter is absolutely furious at the photograph:
In a statement issued on Saturday, Ms Braverman said of her work visit: “Rwanda is a progressive, rapidly growing economy at the forefront of innovation – I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing first-hand the rich opportunities this country can provide to relocated people through our partnership.”
Of course, the criticism of this picture comes just a week after both the BBC and UK government were criticised for their response to a tweet from Gary Lineker, in which the Match of the Day presenter described the government’s new Illegal Migration Bill as “immeasurably cruel” and compared its language as “not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the 30s”.
Ms Braverman later commented on Lineker’s remarks and said: “I think it's unhelpful to compare our measures which are lawful, proportionate and compassionate to 1930s Germany.”
We don’t think this picture helps, though, Suella.
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