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Braverman may cost UK PM losing next election: Former aide

IANS | December 20, 2022 10:04 AM

LONDON: Asserting that Suella Braverman should be sacked, an outgoing UK government aide has warned that keeping on the Home Secretary will result in Prime Minister Rishi Sunak losing the next election.

Nimco Ali, who stepped down as government's adviser on tackling violence against women last week, slammed the Indian-origin Minister's "crazy rhetoric" on the issue of immigration, which is fuelling racism.

"She's basically feeding into this Nigel Farage stuff ... and when you start to normalise these things it's really hard to put it back in its box, " The Guardian reported quoting Ali's interview with the Sunday Times.

"When you have your Home Secretary speaking the way she is speaking and being cheered, that is problematic, especially when you're the first man of colour to be Prime Minister, " said Ali, who had moved to the UK from Somalia as a child refugee.

Ali quit last week during a live radio broadcast, saying she was on a "completely different planet" from the Home Secretary when it comes to the rights of women and girls, "and also the way that we talk about ethnic minorities".

Ali, who is a survivor of female genital mutilation and campaigns against the practice, said that seeing Braverman's eyes "lighting up" while discussing deporting people from backgrounds not so different from her own.

Ali said Braverman's "crazy rhetoric" on immigration left her no choice but to quit her advisory role, The Guardian reported.

"I don't know why your ambition is to put people on a flight to Rwanda and get rid of human rights, " Ali said of Braverman.

"You are a woman of colour. I can understand when white able-bodied men say it, but you? Even talking about it now makes me anxious, " Ali, who was appointed in 2020 by former Home Secretary Priti Patel, said.

Braverman, who was forced to resign from her position under former Prime Minister Liz Truss for breaching the ministerial code of conduct, had sparked off an outrage by comparing the migrant crisis in the country to an "invasion".

She also said in a media interview that she dreamed of sending illegal asylum seekers to Rwanda.

When asked if she thought Braverman's language was helping to incite such racist incidents, she said: "100 per cent. It's legitimising it."

She also accused Braverman of "vindictiveness" and a "lack of compassion".

While the Home Office has been approached for comment, a source close to Braverman told Sunday Times: "It's the Home Secretary's duty to be honest with the British people about the scale of the crisis we're facing on the south coast with the small boats crisis. She makes no apologies for that."

Meanwhile, a High Court in the UK found last week that Braverman acted unlawfully over the amount of financial support given to more than 50, 000 asylum seekers during the cost of living crisis.

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