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Braverman doubles down on calls for crackdown on pro-Palestine protests

todayNovember 12, 2023 5

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Braverman doubles down on calls for crackdown on pro-Palestine protests

Suella Braverman has doubled down on calls for more action to be taken against pro-Palestine protesters.

The home secretary last week failed to get marches banned over the remembrance weekend, after the Metropolitan Police said it had the resources to manage the hundreds of thousands of people who turned up – as well as far-right counter-protests.

Politics latest: Braverman hits out at ‘sick’ chants

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In a series of posts on X (Twitter) sent this afternoon, Ms Braverman said “further action is necessary” against the protests, which were resulting in “the streets of London… being polluted by hate, violence, and antisemitism”.

The home secretary paid tribute to officers, saying “our brave police officers deserve the thanks of every decent citizen for their professionalism in the face of violence and aggression from protesters and counter protesters in London yesterday”.

“That multiple officers were injured doing their duty is an outrage.”

This is a marked contrast to last week, when she accused the Metropolitan Police of holding “double standards” on how it polices protests.

She added: “The sick, inflammatory and, in some cases, clearly criminal chants, placards and paraphernalia openly on display at the march mark a new low. Antisemitism and other forms of racism together with the valorising of terrorism on such a scale is deeply troubling.”

Some have accused Ms Braverman of inflaming tensions, leading to more people descending on the capital.

More than 140 people were arrested in the disorder, both on the pro-Palestinian side and the far-right counter protest side.

The Met Police’s deputy assistant commissioner, Laurence Taylor, said the force faced a “really challenging day” dealing with the protests.

Ms Braverman’s job is now on the line, with opposition parties calling for Rishi Sunak to sack her, and a lack of support from her ministerial colleagues.

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It is not clear what “further action” Ms Braverman deems necessary.

She and Mr Sunak were ultimately unable to stop the remembrance weekend demonstrations from going ahead. In order for a march to be banned, the police must apply to the home secretary for approval on the grounds that it would not be safe to let the event go ahead.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley decided in this case that his force would be able to police the protests sufficiently – leaving Mr Sunak accepting that they were going ahead but frustrating Ms Braverman.

Lord Walney, the government’s independent adviser on political violence and disruption, is set to submit a report to Downing Street which will suggest a change of law, so police can apply to ban a march if it is expected to have impacts on a community like the pro-Palestinian demonstrations have had on the Jewish community.

Sir Mark has repeatedly voiced his frustration at being asked to do things by the government which are not contained within statute.

Following last week’s clashes, Mr Sunak and Ms Braverman are facing another showdown this week, with the Supreme Court set to rule on the legality of the Rwanda deportation scheme.

If a reshuffle does take place, Ms Braverman vacating the Home Office portfolio could lead to a wide reshuffle in Mr Sunak’s cabinet as he eyes the election – which has to take place by January 2025 at the latest – as he trails Sir Keir Starmer by more than 20 points.

There is speculation that the reshuffle could happen as soon as Monday.

People protest against in the Rwanda deportation plan in London

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A judgement on the Rwanda plan is due this week

But Mr Sunak might want to keep the home secretary in place until the latest legal wrangling over one of her flagship policies progresses.

The Supreme Court will rule on Wednesday on the legality of the Rwanda deportation scheme, which was introduced under Boris Johnson and Priti Patel, but hardened under Mr Sunak and Ms Braverman.

Written by: Newsroom

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