Indian-origin Suella Braverman, already under fire over her re-appointment as the UK Home Secretary, has sparked off another outrage by comparing migrant crisis in the country to “invasion”.
Braverman, who was forced to resign from her position under former Prime Minister Liz Truss for breaching the ministerial code of conduct, said on Monday that migrants have launched an “invasion on our southern coast”.
“Let’s stop pretending that they are all refugees in distress,” she said while responding to questions in the House of Commons amid concerns about conditions at the Manston processing site in Kent.
Manston, a former military base in Kent, opened as a processing centre in February this year, for the growing number of migrants reaching the UK in small boats.
Addressing the MPs for the first time since her re-appointment last week, the Home Secretary said some 40,000 people have arrived on the south coast in 2022 with many of them members of criminal gangs.
“Disgusted to hear Suella Braverman say there’s an ‘invasion on our southern coast’. Language like this whips up hate and spreads division,” the Daily Mirror quoted Labour MP Zarah Sultana as saying.
“For Suella Braverman to use language like ‘invasion’, to describe refugees. people who are themselves escaping conflict. is offensive. They know what being invaded feels like. We are lucky that most of us do not,” Clare Moseley, from refugee charity Care4Calais, told The Evening Standard.
Braverman, who admitted to using her personal email six times for official documents, made the remarks days after fellow Indian-origin Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said that “compassion” would be at the heart of his administration.
“Rishi Sunak pledged to bring integrity, professionalism and accountability as Prime Minister. Instead, he brought back Suella Braverman,” local media reports quoted Angela Rayner, deputy leader of the Labour Party, as saying.
After questions on asylum centres being overcrowded, disease-ridden and dangerous, Braverman admitted that “the system is broken” and “Illegal migration is out of control”.
She also denied blocking the use of hotels for asylum seekers, which put pressure on the Manston processing centre designed for 1,600 people
“Indeed since I took over 12,000 people have arrived, 9,500 people have been transferred out of Manston or Western Jet Foil, many of them into hotels,” Braverman said.