Suella Braverman’s rhetoric on illegal migration is “damaging to our communities” and “feeds into the far right”, a Tory former minister has warned.
Rehman Chishti urged the Home Secretary to “get on and do her job” but shied away from calling for her to resign insisting “it’s up to the Prime Minister”.
Mr Chishti was speaking from the counting hall in Gillingham, Kent, where Labour is looking to take the council, Medway, despite having been in the hands of the Conservatives since 2003.
The Gillingham and Rainham MP told Sky News he was “confident” the Conservatives will be able to maintain their current seats.
He was later asked whether he was worried Ms Braverman’s rhetoric on illegal migration might have had an impact on voters in the local elections.
Mr Chishti wrote a column in the Observer newspaper at the end of April, titled “calling out Braverman’s views on race and abuse is a vital part of my Conservative values”, in which he argued the Home Secretary was “emboldening the far right by pointing the finger at ethnic groups”.
The Tory MP said: “I think you know, from my many appearances on Sky News, people know that I say what I think and I’m a man of principle, and I think I stand by everything I wrote in that paper.
“I’ve sat on the Home Affairs Select Committee for three years looking at security and the comments that we had from the Home Secretary, the rhetoric that she applies to certain faiths and diverse communities is damaging to our communities and also it damages the community relations, it feeds into the far right.
“So what I would say to the Home Secretary she needs to get on, and do her job, address the big issues of the day.”
He insisted the biggest illegal migration issue is “with regards to people who come into this country, overstay on their visas”, adding: “So the Home Secretary needs to get on, make sure that people who are here illegally are removed quickly and swiftly and does her job rather than applying rhetoric which damages our communities.”
On whether he thought Rishi Sunak should sack Ms Braverman, Mr Chishti replied: “I think it’s up to the Prime Minister who he selected to be his Cabinet.”
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