Senior Conservatives have condemned Suella Braverman’s use of “racist rhetoric” – accusing her of undermining the party for the sake of her own leadership ambitions.
The home secretary has been labelled a “Trump tribute act” following her comments on child sexual exploitation.
She pointed to a “predominance of certain ethnic groups” – namely British Pakistani males – as holding “cultural values totally at odds with British values”, saying they “see women in a demeaned and illegitimate way”.
Braverman also reportedly reprimanded Essex Police for sending five officers to seize a collection of dolls which are considered racist from a pub.
Speaking to the Guardian, Tory MPs, peers and activists have accused Braverman of inflaming racial tensions on a number of occasions over the past few months, saying they are worried that she is now at risk of repelling the kinds of swing voters the party is desperate to retain.
A former senior minister from Boris Johnson’s government told the newspaper they believed Braverman was a “real racist bigot”.
The person said “the country is not as grotesque as she makes it out to be”, warning that the “Conservative reputation on discrimination has dropped to a new low” under her watch – “which also gives the country a bad name”.
They added: “Sunak needs to build upon foundations we already have – stop the culture wars and create change. But his inaction shows how insecure he is in his own ability.”
The criticism reflects widespread anger felt by many Tory MPs and peers about Braverman’s frequent use of racially charged language.
Baroness Sayeeda Warsi hit out at a number of remarks the Home Secretary has made, and said it has “it has got to stop”.
The Tory peer did not specify which specific remarks she was referring to as racist, but highlighted Ms Braverman’s comments on small boats crossing the Channel, and her singling out British Pakistani men over concerns about grooming gangs.