SUELLA Braverman has been criticised by Northern Ireland politicians for using the nation as a point of comparison while referring to pro-Palestinian protests as “hate marches” in a newspaper column.
The Home Secretary accused the Metropolitan Police of “double standards” and “playing favourites with protesters" in a piece for The Times.
On the marches, she additionally said: “They are an assertion of primacy by certain groups – particularly Islamists – of the kind we are more used to seeing in Northern Ireland.
“Also disturbingly reminiscent of Ulster are the reports that some of Saturday’s march group organisers have links to terrorist groups, including Hamas.”
On the back of the comments, SDLP leader Collum Eastwood has branded Braverman a “pound shop Enoch Powell”.
Sinn Féin's foreign affairs spokesperson Matt Carthy said the Home Secretary had "as much knowledge about the situation in Northern Ireland as she seems to have about the situation in Palestine at the moment".
He told Good Morning Ulster: “The British government has taken a disappointing stance in my view in respect of the ongoing conflict in Gaza.
"I would argue if British ministers are in the frame of mind where they want to talk about Ireland and the north, the frame of mind they should be in is ensuring the DUP return to Stormont and we get the executive up and running."
Alliance MP Stephen Farry said that Braverman's "comparisons to Northern Ireland are pathetic", describing her comments as the latest "of a series of cruel comments and oppressive policies".
A source close to Braverman told the BBC that her comment was in reference to activities by “dissident republicans”.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is now facing calls to sack her, with one Conservative MP quoted as saying keeping her in post is “damaging him”.
It comes as a pro-Palestine rally on Armistice Day is set to go ahead despite UK Government objections.
The Prime Minister had hauled in Met Police chief Mark Rowley for an emergency meeting about the planned march in London, saying he would hold the Scotland Yard boss “accountable” if there was trouble.
Following his meeting with the Met Police chief, Sunak confirmed the planned march will not be near the Cenotaph on Whitehall and timings will not conflict with remembrance events.