LONDON – UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman has been accused by Conservative Party peer Lady Warsi of employing “racist rhetoric” in statements about sexual grooming gangs last month, according to The Guardian.
According to Braverman, British-Pakistani men are the primary offenders of gang-based sexual exploitation, which has piqued the Conservative government’s interest as it strives to crack down on abuse.
Warsi, the Conservative Party’s first Asian leader, told the LBC radio station that Braverman’s ethnic background could not be used as a “defense mechanism” against racism claims, adding, “Brown people can be racist, too.”
Warsi encouraged Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to give a “really strong message that this kind of rhetoric… has got to stop” and urged him to convey a “really strong message that this kind of rhetoric… has got to stop.”
When asked if she was referring to Braverman as a racist, Warsi responded, “I am referring to her rhetoric as racist.” I am.”
Her remarks on the home secretary are the latest in a string of criticisms leveled at Braverman since her remarks last month.
Braverman was previously criticized by the British Pakistan Foundation of portraying ethnic groups in a “divisive and dangerous way.”
On April 2, Braverman emphasized the “predominance of certain ethnic groups — and I say British-Pakistani males — who hold cultural values totally at odds with British values, who see women in a demeaned and illegitimate way, and pursue an outdated and frankly heinous approach in terms of the way they behave.”
“I don’t understand how it’s possible for one person, Suella Braverman, to find themselves almost weekly, at the center of so much racial insensitivity,” Albie Amankona, co-founder of Conservatives Against Racism For Equality, tweeted. I’ve mentioned it before: there’s something wrong there.”
In response to the criticism, a representative for the Home Office stated, “The home secretary has been clear that all despicable child abusers must be brought to justice.”And she will not be afraid to expose harsh realities, particularly about the grooming of young women and girls in Britain’s towns who have been let down by authorities for decades.
“As the home secretary has stated, the vast majority of British-Pakistanis are law-abiding, upstanding citizens; however, independent reports have been unequivocal that in towns such as Rochdale, Rotherham, and Telford, cultural sensitivities have resulted in thousands of young girls being abused under the noses of councils and police.”