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Lawyers lodge complaint against UK home secretary for racist comments

May 15, 2023 at 9:46 am

Secretary of State for the Home Department Suella Braverman leaves 10 Downing Street after attending the Cabinet meeting ahead of today’s Budget announcement in London, United Kingdom on March 15, 2023. [Wiktor Szymanowicz – Anadolu Agency]

Nine organisations have made a complaint against the British home secretary, accusing her of breaching the Bar Standards Board by using “racist sentiments and discriminatory narratives.”

Suella Braverman is a qualified barrister and as such is bound by the legal watchdog, which holds that members of the profession should “conduct themselves in an appropriate manner.”

The Society of Asian Lawyers, the Association of Muslim Lawyers, the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, and others have signed a letter calling on the Bar Standards Board to investigate her.

Braverman’s comments “undermine the integrity of the legal profession” and “have the potential to damage the reputation of the UK as a tolerant and inclusive society,” they said.

In April, Braverman said that members of grooming gangs were mainly British-Pakistani men who “hold cultural values completely incompatible with British values.”

The home secretary also said that groups of “vulnerable white English girls” were being “pursued and raped and drugged and harmed by gangs of British Pakistani men who’ve worked in child abuse networks.”

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Small boats crossing the English Channel are an “invasion,” Braverman has also claimed. Adding that the crossings mean there are “heightened levels of criminality.”

These comments were outlined in the letter sent to the regulator: “It is our view that Ms Braverman’s comments incite violence against the British Pakistani and Muslim community as well as refugee communities, fuelling racist sentiments and discriminatory narratives.”

“These comments are not only highly inaccurate and offensive, but they also perpetuate harmful stereotypes and contribute to a climate of hate and prejudice.”

A 2020 Home Office report found that most child sex offenders were white, added the signatories.

In April, Tory peer Baroness Warsi warned that Braverman’s comments on grooming gangs and refugees “emboldened racists” and warned there may be a backlash on British Asians.

Senior Tories accused Braverman of undermining the party to pursue her own leadership ambitions after she criticised police for seizing racist dolls from inside an Essex pub.

One told the Guardian that Braverman is a “real racist bigot.”