Medical professionals, business leaders and faith communities have united in their condemnation of the home secretary’s irresponsible and divisive rhetoric on child sexual exploitation.
Speaking about the government crackdown on child sexual abuse, Suella Braverman singled out British-Pakistani men as she alluded to grooming cases in Rotherham and Rochdale.
She pointed to a “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cultural values totally at odds with British values, who see women in a demeaned and illegitimate way and pursue an outdated and frankly heinous approach in terms of the way they behave”.
Braverman also claimed that victims and whistle-blowers were ignored “due to cultural sensitivity and political correctness’’, a claim challenged in many reports including the Operation Linden Report, published in June 2022.
Writing in response to the comments, a number of health organisations have criticised the home secretary’s rhetoric in the strongest possible terms.
An open letter reads:
“It is unacceptable for the Home Secretary to use inflammatory and divisive rhetoric that is sensationalist and contradicts her own department’s evidence.
“Critically, it enables these heinous crimes to continue by focusing on political exhibitionism instead of implementing impactful action that is evidence-based and requires a whole system response rather than singling out one particular ethnic group.
“It also overlooks insensitively, the immense contribution of healthcare professionals from different ethnic backgrounds (in this case British Pakistanis) contribution towards wonderful British intuitions like the NHS. This was very evident recently during COVID-19.
“We demand an apology from the Home Secretary and an honest commitment to meaningfully tackling this vital issue which has ruined the lives of thousands of young people.”
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