Suella Braverman sounds lost speaking about the UK's asylum system

Suella Braverman sounds lost speaking about the UK's asylum system
‘Shortage of safe and legal routes’ for migrants, Suella Braverman told by …

Suella Braverman was challenged about the UK's asylum system and looked utterly lost.

The home secretary appeared at a select committee today where one of her colleagues quizzed her on "safe and legal" routes for people to enter the UK leading her to awkwardly call on her staff to try an answer for her.

Tim Loughton, the MP for East Worthing and Shoreham, said to Braverman: “Just a bit of role play: I’m a 16-year-old orphan from an East African country escaping a war zone and religious persecution.

“I have a sibling legally in the United Kingdom at the moment. What is the safe and legal route for me to come to United Kingdom?”

Braverman replied: “Well, we have...you’re fleeing which country sorry?”

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Loughton told her: “Any African country. I don’t want to name one because then their prime minister might have a go at me for demonising their population.

“So let’s just theoretically talk about an African country which is going through a period of turbulence, which is persecuting its citizens, including an innocent 16 year old like me.”

Braverman told the committee: “Well, we have an asylum system and people can put in applications for asylum.”

Loughton pressed her: “How would I do that?”

She replied: “Well, you can do it through the safe and legal routes that we have. We have offered 390,000 places to people seeking safety from various countries around the world...”

Loughton interrupted, saying his fictional character was not eligible of any current government asylum schemes: “I’m not Syrian, I’m not Afghan, I’m not Ukrainian, I’m not any of those specific schemes. The Dubs scheme is historic. What scheme is open to me?”

Braverman told him: “Well, if you are able to get to the UK, you’re able to put in an application for asylum.”

Loughton had cornered the home secretary, telling her: “I would only enter the UK illegally then wouldn’t I?”

Braverman said: “Well, if you put in your application for asylum upon arrival that would be the process that you enter.”

Loughton added: “How could I arrive in the UK if I didn’t have permission to get onto an aircraft legally to arrive in the UK?”

It was at this point when Braverman seamfully passed the question onto her colleague and said: “Let me just invite our colleagues if there’s anything you want to add?”

Matthew Rycroft, permanent secretary at the home office, told him: “Depending on which country you’re from, you could engage with UNHCR.

“And that would be a way of getting leave to enter the UK in order to put in that asylum claim. But I accept that there are some countries where it would not be possible.”

Loughton commented: “I think the point is that there’s a shortage of safe and legal routes other than for specific groups of people that we have generously offered safe haven to.”

It comes after a fiasco-filled few weeks for the politician who is facing questions over conditions in Manston asylum processing centre, struggling to restore her reputation after all that "leaky Sue" chat, and is repeatedly being told off for using pretty inflammatory language.

This is just the latest sign she is utterly out of her depth.

Incredibly awkward stuff from... just the home secretary of the UK... no-one with a serious job or anything...

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