April 18 2024
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Braverman sacked: The Home Secretary’s controversial record

Braverman sacked: The Home Secretary’s controversial record

The Home Secretary Suella Braverman has been sacked after a weekend marked by the presence of the far right on the streets of London and unprecedented criticisms of her conduct by police chiefs.

Braverman’s sacking was annnounced on Monday morning and Foreign Secretary James Cleverly was made new head of the Home Office.

Last week Braverman attracted criticism for penning an unapproved op-ed in The Times ahead of planned pro-Palestinian protests in London over the weekend. She accused the police of taking a tougher stance on right-wing protestors compared to demonstrations perceived as more moderate or left-wing.

Senior Police officers have since said Braverman’s words ‘stoked hatred and division’ ahead of a challenging weekend for policing across the capital. Around 300,000 people joined a march calling for a ceasefire between Israel and Gaza and far-right counter protestors marched down Whitehall, with many speculating that such groups were emboldened by the former Home Secretary’s stance.

Braverman’s control over the Home Office, her second stint as head of this ministry, has been marked by scandal and mismanagement. She carved out a reputation as a right-wing outrider, and was seen as a flag-bearer for right-leaning and more radical elements of the Tory party.

The actions of Braverman’s Home Office have been heavily criticised for breaching rights legislation, demonising immigrants, dehumanising those seeking asylum and proposing unworkable solutions to tackle issues like small boats arrivals. Her policy agenda has arguably been designed to solve these issues while ensuring all the time to appeal to those on the right of her party and even far right political elements outside of the Westminster mainstream.

As has been extensively reported by The Justice Gap, her proposed policy to deport illegal migrants to Rwanda has so far not been enacted, with no migrants having been transported to the country. This scheme, much rebuked by rights groups and opposition figures, faces a judgment in the Supreme Court as to whether it is lawful this Wednesday.

During the legal challenge to date the court has heard that the Rwanda partnership deal was signed despite government officials having ongoing concerns about the country’s human rights record. The Home Office have yet to prove the legality of the scheme.

Braverman’s leadership of the Home Office has also seen an unprecedented tightening of protest laws, with rights group Liberty bringing legal action against her earlier this year for bringing in ‘almost unlimited powers to stop any protest the Government doesn’t agree with’. They alleged these draconian elements of the Public Order Act were ‘snuck in through the back door’ after being rejected in parliament.

Liberty said on X on Monday: ‘Former Home Secretary Suella Braverman made protest regulations she had no power to create. This is undemocratic, unconstitutional and unacceptable. Braverman is gone but the regulations remain. James Clevely: see you in court’.

In an attempt to appear tough on illegal immigration, in particular small boats arrivals, Braverman has created a two-tier system, discriminating between refugees that arrive via regular and irregular means. This is counter to all recognised fundamental rights afforded to those seeking asylum.

Policies of ‘deterrence’ have taken precedence over workable solutions to tackling people trafficking and vast backlogs in assessing asylum claims have led to more and more refugees being housed in unacceptable accommodation.

The inappropriate housing of migrants in hotels and their quasi-detention in barracks and on barges has accelerated dramatically. Stories of infested, damp and crowded accommodation, as well as the seemingly unlimited and unrestricted detention of asylum seekers in the UK have become ubiquitous, including through reporting by the Justice Gap.

Charity Women for Refugee Women said in the wake of Braverman’s removal: ‘While we’re glad Braverman is no longer Home Secretary, as we have seen extreme cruelty and harm under her tenure, we know that hostility is in-built to this government’s approach to people seeking safety’.

Braverman has also courted controversy throughout her time at the Home Office through claims that ‘multiculturalism has failed’ and that homelessness is chosen by people as ‘a lifestyle choice’.

In a statement Braverman said she ‘will have more to say in due course’, fuelling speculation she will make a bid for the leadership of the Conservative party.

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper has said: ‘Suella Braverman has now been sacked twice as Home Secretary. Rishi Sunak should never have re-appointed her in first place. He was warned against it and was warned on the damage she was doing. He went along with her undermining the police. The buck still stops with this weak PM’.