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Suella Braverman: Islamists are in charge of Britain now

Suella Braverman
Suella Braverman’s comments come a day after Sir Lindsay Hoyle sparked a furious backlash over a Gaza ceasefire vote - Paul Grover for The Telegraph

Islamists are now in charge of Britain, Suella Braverman has said after the Commons Speaker admitted he had been wrong to ignore protocol over security threats to MPs.

In an article for The Telegraph, Mrs Braverman, the former home secretary, said Britain was “sleep-walking into a ghettoised society” that threatened free expression.

Her comments come a day after Sir Lindsay Hoyle sparked a furious backlash over a Gaza ceasefire vote by allowing a vote on a Labour amendment, leading to accusations that he had given in to extremists.

Sir Lindsay said he had broken with convention to allow MPs to vote on the widest possible range of amendments, citing threats that politicians had received over their stance on Israel and Gaza.

On Thursday, Sir Lindsay admitted he had made a “wrong decision” in his effort to protect MPs as he fought to keep his job.

However, Rishi Sunak and Penny Mordaunt, the Leader of the Commons, warned on Thursday that changing Commons procedures in the way he had risked undermining democracy and giving in to intimidation by extremists.

Mrs Braverman, who was sacked by Mr Sunak after she accused police of “playing favourites” with pro-Palestinian protesters, accused Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, of “being in hock” to extremists and “taking the Speaker hostage” with a “grubby backroom deal” over the Labour amendment.

“The truth is that the Islamists, the extremists and the anti-Semites are in charge now,” she wrote. “They have bullied the Labour Party, they have bullied our institutions, and now they have bullied our country into submission.”

The former home secretary accused political leaders of “burying their heads in the sand”, preferring to believe in the “illusion” of a successful multicultural society and remaining terrified of being called racist if they challenged them.

“But the law has not changed, mass extremism parades itself proudly, campuses remain dangerous places for Jews, and Labour is still rotten to the core,” she said.

On Thursday, Mr Sunak said he found the scenes in the Commons “very concerning”, adding: “ think the important point here is that we should never let extremists intimidate us into changing the way in which Parliament works”.

By Thursday evening, more than 67 MPs had signed a motion declaring no confidence in Sir Lindsay. Stephen Flynn, the SNP’s Commons leader, and some Tory rebels are trying to oust the Speaker by forcing a no-confidence vote.

In his apology to the Commons on Thursday, the Speaker said: “I am guilty because... I have a duty of care that I will carry out to protect people.

“It is the protection that led me to make a wrong decision, but what I do not apologise [for] is the risk that has been put on all Members at the moment. I had serious meetings yesterday with the police on the issues and threats to politicians for us heading to an election.”

His comments came amid increased concern for the safety of MPs, some of whom have been threatened and faced protests at their homes.

Hundreds gathered outside Parliament on Wednesday to stage a protest in support of Palestinians as the proposal calling for a ceasefire in Gaza was being debated
Hundreds gathered outside Parliament on Wednesday to stage a protest in support of Palestinians as the proposal calling for a ceasefire in Gaza was being debated - Rasid Necati Aslim/Anadolu via Getty Images

Mrs Braverman claimed that while she may have been sacked for speaking out against what she called the appeasement of Islamists, she said she would do it again.

This was “because we need to wake up to what we are sleep-walking into: a ghettoised society where free expression and British values are diluted. Where Sharia law, the Islamist mob and anti-Semites take over communities,” she said.

“We need to overcome the fear of being labelled Islamophobic and speak truthfully. Enough of the hand-wringing and apologies. Turning a blind eye to fanatics has got us into this terrible situation: it needs to stop.”

Her comments come after William Shawcross, the independent reviewer of the counter-terror Prevent programme, warned in an interview with The Telegraph that Islamist extremism was not being effectively tackled by the Government, leading to an increased threat to the safety of the public.

Referencing Mr Shawcross’s warning, Mrs Braverman said it was critical to resist attacks on the Prevent programme – which requires councils, police and schools to identify potential extremists – by campaign groups that have labelled it “Islamophobic” and “racist.”

Mrs Braverman, who published Mr Shawcross’s review of Prevent last year, said: “We need to get over our cultural timidity to refer budding Islamists, where they are a threat, into the programme.

“The Government has failed if 75 per cent of MI5’s caseload consists of Islamist terrorism yet the proportion of Islamist referrals into Prevent is only 11 per cent and falling. It’s not Islamophobic to challenge Islamist fanatics – it’s a civic duty.”

Suella Braverman’s article in full

Islamists are bullying Britain into submission

Read more

She backed Mr Shawcross’s recommendation for schools to be issued with guidance to stop blasphemy laws being introduced by the “back door” and exploited by extremists to silence critics and stymie “perfectly lawful” criticism of religions, including Islam.

It follows high-profile cases including that of Batley Grammar School where a teacher was driven out of his school by “a mob of extremists” and into hiding after showing pupils a satirical image of the Prophet Mohammed.

“We cannot allow teachers to be hounded out of schools because a picture of Mohammed was shown, or children to be censured because a Koran was scuffed accidentally,” she wrote. “In this country, it is perfectly lawful to criticise any religion or God. One may disagree passionately, but it is not criminal.”