Suella Braverman: antisemitism in Britain has made me ‘ashamed to be British’

The former cabinet minister was criticised for calling pro-Palestine rallies ‘hate marches’


Suella Braverman speaks in Manchester (Photo:Mike Poloway)

Suella Braverman has said that the rise in antisemitism in Britain has made “ashamed to be British” and that society cannot turn a blind eye to “Jew hatred in the in the 21st century”.

In an exclusive interview, the former home secretary, who came under fire last year for describing pro-Palestinian rallies as “hate marches”, said she didn’t regret it because “someone had to speak up”. Despite losing her job, she added, she would “do it again”.

Braverman said she “had to speak the truth on behalf of the Jewish community” and “everyday people”. The vast majority was “appalled at seeing, week after week, the streets taken over by hundreds of thousands of pro-Palestinian militant hate marchers” that were “spouting antisemitism and racism with abandon,” she said.

She recalled the incident where Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) Chief Executive Gideon Falter, who was wearing a kippah, was threatened with arrest and an officer said that his “openly Jewish” presence might cause a reaction from pro-Palestine demonstrators.

“If they weren't hateful, why was a Jewish person unable to cross the road in front of them?”, she asked. The Metropolitan Police later apologised to Falter for use of the phrase “openly Jewish”.

Braverman slammed the Metropolitan Police and commissioner Sir Mark Rowley for what she described as their “wholesale strategic failure” in dealing with the marches. She added that, “we've got a situation where extremism is a real feature of British life today”.

She was equally scathing about Sir Keir Starmer, describing him as “weak”. She said: “He has not offered a very clear plan on how to deal with some of the challenges that we're facing as a country. Instead, he has retreated to the mealy-mouthed equivocation and ambivalence that I'm afraid too many politicians are guilty of these days.”

She admitted that the Conservatives will likely lose the upcoming general election but said she was “horrified” by the prospect of a Labour government.

Touted as a future leader of the Conservative Party, Braverman was scathing of some of her former cabinet colleagues, whose support she may need to win in a future party leadership contest. She claimed many disagreed with her because she was “the only conservative in the cabinet”.

Being an isolated figure in the cabinet was something she was used to, Braverman said, whether it was talking about “unprecedented levels of the global migration crisis”, “talking about the failure of multiculturalism” or calling pro-Palestine demonstrations “hate marches.”

Asked whether she would prefer to be in a party led by Nigel Farage or Rishi Sunak, Braverman replied: “I'm a conservative and personalities don't really interest me.” For her, she said, it was the issues that matter. “I believe in a small state, low taxation, personal responsibility, civic duty, family, law and order, respect and fairness,” she said.

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