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by Kirsteen Paterson
09 November 2023
Sack Suella Braverman over 'dangerous' comments, former SNP minister urges Rishi Sunak

Suella Braverman and Rishi Sunak. Image: Alamy

Sack Suella Braverman over 'dangerous' comments, former SNP minister urges Rishi Sunak

A former Scottish Government minister has lodged an official call to the Prime Minister to sack Home Secretary Suella Braverman.

Former transport minister Kevin Stewart has asked MSPs to back his call to Rishi Sunak as Braverman comes under pressure over an article in which she accused police of bias and called pro-Palestinian demonstrators "hate marchers".

The column, published in The Times, has also provoked anger in Northern Ireland after she said that reports that organisers of pro-Palestine marches scheduled for Armistice Day have "links to terrorist groups, including Hamas" and that this was "disturbingly reminiscent of Ulster".

MPs on Westminster's All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims have accused Braverman of "fanning the flames of hate" and Number 10 said the opinion piece had not been approved by Sunak.

Labour leader Keir Starmer accused Braverman of undermining the police and Lib Dem home affairs spokesperson Alistair Carmichael called her comments "irresponsible and dangerous".

The row has developed just one week before the Supreme Court is set to give its ruling on whether UK Government plans to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda are lawful.

And it follows her recent comments describing homelessness as a "lifestyle choice".

Police in London have rejected calls to ban the rally over conflict in Gaza, which is expected to take place on Armistice Day. Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley said the "very high threshold" of the risk of disorder needed to do so has not been reached.

However, Braverman said there is a "perception that senior officers play favourites when it comes to protesters" and that "right-wing and nationalist protesters who engage in aggression are rightly met with a stern response yet pro-Palestinian mobs displaying almost identical behaviour are largely ignored, even when clearly breaking the law".

A spokesperson for the prime minister said officials are "looking into what happened" over the publication of the article. However, Sunak is said to have full confidence in Braverman.

Now Stewart has lodged a parliamentary motion in Holyrood urging the PM to sack the Home Office head.

The motion, which has been backed by several MSPs, states "that the parliament calls on the prime minister to remove the home secretary from office with immediate effect".

He commented: "Her comments are not just insulting; they are dangerous. She has given the far-right a voice at the highest levels of government, at a time where we desperately need compassionate, welcoming and level-headed leadership. 

"From her outrageous handling of the planned pro-Palestine demonstrations, her appalling treatment of refugees fleeing conflict and her attacks on rough sleepers, Suella Braverman shows no empathy and has without doubt put lives at risk.

"As elected representatives of the Scottish Parliament, we must come together to condemn the home secretary’s abhorrent actions, and show that Scotland takes a zero tolerance approach to all hatred."

MSPs to add their names to the motion include Colin Beattie, Stephanie Callaghan, Bob Doris, Clare Haughey, Bill Kidd, Gillian Mackay, Ivan McKee, Stuart McMillan, Audrey Nicoll, Collette Stevenson, Kaukab Stewart, and David Torrance, all of the SNP. Green MSPs Maggie Chapman and Ross Greer have also signed it.

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