Suella Braverman has been criticised for her rhetoric around migrants
Suella Braverman’s comments about deporting immigrants to Rwanda are “horrific”, according to the assistant commissioner for the Met Police.
Neil Basu, the UK’s former head of counter terrorism, hit out at the home secretary’s language around refugees arriving on UK shores on Tuesday.
He told Channel 4 News: “I find some of the commentary coming out of the Home Office inexplicable.”
He was referring to Braverman’s claim that it was her “dream” to send refugees to Rwanda, a remark she made during the Conservative Party conference in October.
The controversial policy yet to get off the ground involves sending asylum seekers the government deems “illegal” to the east African country.
Braverman described the current crisis of refugees arriving via the English Channel as an “invasion”, too – another comment that came under scrutiny at the time.
Basu also alluded to Braverman’s own heritage – her parents migrated to the UK from Kenya and Mauritius – and that of her predecessor Priti Patel, whose parents settled in the UK after leaving Uganda.
He said: “It’s unbelievable to hear a succession of very powerful politicians who look like this talking in language that my father would have have remembered from 1968. It’s horrific.”
"I find some of the commentary coming out of the Home Office inexplicable."
Assistant Commisioner for the Met Police, Neil Basu, tells @cathynewman that Home Secretary Suella Braverman's language about her dreams of sending immigrants to Rwanda is "horrific." pic.twitter.com/PYB61M0m1j
— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) November 29, 2022
Basu, who was speaking ahead of his retirement from the Metropolitan Police, said Braverman’s words reminded him of the racism his own family experienced after former Tory minister Enoch Powell’s infamous ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech.
Basu’s father came to the UK from India in the 1960s. He explained: “I was born in 1968. The ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech happened on the constituency next to where my parents lived and made their life hell. A mixed-race couple walking through the streets in the 1960s. Stoned.
“I speak about race because I know something about race because I’m a 54-year-old mixed race man.”
He also said he was proud to call himself “woke” and said it meant being “alert to issues of racial and social injustice”.