Former Britain Home Secretary Suella Braverman

Former Britain Home Secretary Suella Braverman addresses delegates at the annual Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, northern England, on October 3, 2023. British leader Rishi Sunak sacked controversial interior minister Suella Braverman on November 13, 2023.

| Courtesy | AFP

How UK Home Secretary with Kenyan link dug her own grave

Some people call it a pantomime, the more serious see it as political jiggery-pokery, shedding shame upon the Conservative government.

One thing it did prove was that in politics, as in the rest of life, the winner is the one with the biggest fists, however ungentlemanly that may sound in this case.

For this was a lady, the Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, defying her boss, the Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak.

First, she noted that the massacre of Jewish people in Gaza by the Palestinian Hamas “chanted for the erasure of Israel from the map”. She added, “To my mind, there is only one way to describe those marches; they are hate marches.”

Her article in The Times newspaper was not cleared by the government, as is customary. Indeed, she went further and warned that protestors would be locked up instantly if they tried to protest on Remembrance Day at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, a memorial to all Britons who died in war.

There was no serious disruption at the memorial but on the morning of the big day she published another article accusing the police of “playing favourites” and taking a tougher stance to pro-Israeli protests than to Palestinian efforts.

Again, the article was not cleared by 10 Downing Street and it later appeared that Mrs Braverman had refused a government request to tone it down. You might suggest she wrote her own dismissal notice when she vowed “I will have more to say in due course.”

Mrs Braverman was accused of stoking tensions as Remembrance Day dawned. The actions of a Kenya-connected daughter of a Goan father made a Cabinet reshuffle by Sunak inevitable, and produced another shock.

Former Prime Minister David Cameron, seven years out of office and not even an MP, was named as Foreign Secretary in place of James Cleverly, who got Braverman’s job. Sunak managed this without an election by naming Cameron to the House of Lords to enable him to take up his new position.

The Prime Minister’s spokesman said, “This reshuffle  will give a prime minister a united team to  deliver the change this country needs for the long term.”

The opposition Labour Party is not convinced. Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said Mrs Braverman’s actions were “highly irresponsible” and inflamed tensions, making her job harder.

To highlight the brutal attack by Hamas, the Palestinian armed force in Gaza, is perfectly right and proper, but to ignore the Israeli shelling of civilian areas in the enclave is to evade the truth.

But Mrs Braverman has always believed she occupies a special position with regard to immigration.

In a recent speech, she insisted, “This isn’t just about politics and economics for me. My parents came here in the 1960s from Kenya and Mauritius. They loved Britain from afar as children of the Commonwealth.”

Referring to her principal duty,  she went on: “It is not racist for anyone to want to control our borders. It’s not bigoted to say we have too many asylum seekers who are abusing the system.”

A record 47,000 people crossed the Channel last year and Mrs Braverman’s remarks brought praise from senior figures on the ruling party’s right wing, who saw it as a pitch for leadership of the Conservatives.

Whether the reshuffle will bring about the result it seeks – an increase in Tory party electors, remains to be seen.


During last March, police forces across the UK reported nearly 30,000 cases of shoplifting, a 30.9 per cent increase on the previous March figure.

A young woman in south London confessed she stole from groceries, saying, “If I didn’t, I would only have been able to afford a packet of noodles.”

Tom Holder from the British Retail Consortium said, “Only about five per cent of the people we catch can’t go to court, or it is impossible to ask them why they do it.”

But soaring food costs are clearly part of the problem. Prices increased sharply with the referendum and are showing a marked reluctance to return to normal.


Wise thoughts on politics, and the rest:

“Most people have heard of Karl Marx but few know of his sister Onya, an Olympic runner, whose name is still called at the start of every foot race worldwide.  “Hell, I never voted for anybody. I always voted against” – US comedian WC Fields.

From a doctor of long experience:  “Curing a patient is the same as losing a patient.” The expression status quo is just Latin for “the mess we’re in”, according to the late American President Ronald Reagan.