Suella Braverman

UK lawyer and politician

Sue-Ellen Cassiana "Suella" Braverman KC (née Fernandes, born 3 April 1980) is a British politician and barrister who served as Home Secretary from 6 September to 19 October 2022 (under Liz Truss) and 25 October 2022 to 13 November 2023 (under Rishi Sunak). A member of the Conservative Party, she was chair of the European Research Group from 2017 to 2018 and attorney general for England and Wales from 2020 to 2022. She has been the member of Parliament (MP) for Fareham in Hampshire since 2015. Before her marriage to Rael Braverman in February 2018, she was known as Suella Fernandes.

Suella Braverman KC (2019)

Quotes

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2015

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  • On a cold February morning in 1968, a young man, not yet 21, stepped off a plane at Heathrow airport, nervously folding away his one-way ticket from Kenya. He had no family, no friends and was clutching only his most valuable possession, his British passport. His homeland was in political turmoil. Kenya had kicked him out for being British. My father never returned. He made his life here in Britain, starting on the shop floor of a paint factory. My mother, recruited by the NHS in Mauritius as a girl of 18, passed her 45th year of service last year.
    My family had nothing but hopes and dedication. They were so proud to be British and so proud to make our country even better. If I succeed in making some small contribution during my time in this place, it will reflect only a fraction of my gratitude to this country for the abundance of education, culture and traditions that have made Britain great, for the tolerance and fellowship of the British people, and for the opportunity and liberty that we all enjoy.
    • Maiden speech "Britain in the World" Hansard Vol. 596, House of Commons debate (1 June 2015).
    • See Sadakat Kadri "One-Way Ticket" London Review of Books (14 March 2023). At the time Braverman's father, Christie Fernandes, arrived in the United Kingdom in February 1968, Harold Wilson's Labour government was in the process (via the eventual Commonwealth Immigrants Act 1968) of withdrawing assurances previously given to Kenyan Asians with British passports. (An exception was made for those Kenyans with a parent or grandparent born in the UK, in other words, predominantly those who were white.)
  • [On her parent's arrival in the UK] My father came to the UK to escape the Kenyan Asian crisis in 1968. His arrival probably saved his life. My mother was recruited in Mauritius as a girl of 18, and she has just passed her 45th year of service as a nurse. More passionate patriots cannot be imagined. It is clear that immigration has brought huge benefits to this country. We have a proud tradition of offering refuge, opportunity and a better life to those who take the risk of leaving their homeland.
    • House of Commons debate (13 October 2015: Column 261).
    • Sadakat Kadri comments in his short essay the situation for the Asian diaspora in Kenya was deteriorating as "non-citizens" were "ineligible for work permits and trading licences", but "Braverman’s father was neither expelled nor threatened with death". Braverman later in her speech advocated for reducing net migration to the UK.

2022

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  • I get a lot of abuse. I get trolled, Twitter has a very strong left wing bias [...] Actually for me, my barometer, it's got to this point where if I get trolled and I provoke a bad response on Twitter I know I'm doing the right thing. Twitter is a sewer of left-wing bile and there's very little sensible, moderate voices either way actually get drowned out. The extreme left pile on is often a consequence of sound conservative values.
  • Let's be clear about what is really going on here: the British people deserve to know which party is serious about stopping the invasion on our southern coast and which party is not.
    Some 40,000 people have arrived on the south coast this year alone. Many of them facilitated by criminal gangs, some of them actual members of criminal gangs. So let’s stop pretending that they are all refugees in distress. The whole country knows that is not true. It’s only the honourable members opposite who pretend otherwise. We need to be straight with the public. The system is broken. Illegal migration is out of control and too many people are interested in playing political parlour games, covering up the truth than solving the problem.

2023

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  • [On her parents] They owe everything to this country and they have taught me a deep and profound love of Britain and British people. Their tolerance, their generosity, their decency, their fair play.
    That also means that we must not shy away from saying there is a problem. There is a huge problem that we have right now when it comes to illegal migration, the scale of which we have not known before.
    I won’t apologise for the language that I have used to demonstrate the scale of the problem. I see my job as being honest with the British people and honest for the British people.
    I’m not going to shy away from difficult truths nor am I going to conceal what is the reality that we are all watching.
  • I want to put something on the record, it's perfectly respectable for a child of immigrants like me to say I'm deeply grateful to live here, to say that immigration has been overwhelmingly good for Great Britain but that we've had too much of it in recent years.
    And to say that uncontrolled and illegal migration is simply bad.
    Yet, despite our reasonable concerns we've raised on several occasions, I am subject to the most grotesque slurs for saying simple truths about the impact of unlimited and illegal immigration.
    The worst among them poisoned by the extreme ideology of identity politics suggests that a person's skin colour should dictate their political views.
    I will not be hectored by out of touch lefties or anyone for that matter.
    I won't be patronised on what appropriate views for someone of my background can hold. I will not back down when faced with spurious accusations of bigotry.
    When such smears seep into the discourse of this chamber, as they did last week, accusations that this government's policies, policies backed by the majority of the British people, are bigoted, are xenophobic, are dog whistles to racists, it is irresponsible and frankly beneath the dignity of this place.
    Politicians of all stripes should know better and they should choose their words carefully.
  • Those prognosticators of doom who said that Brexit would be an economic catastrophe for the UK – not only were they wrong, they demonstrated a profound ignorance of the British people when they attributed their legitimate desire to regain our national sovereignty as some mix of stupidity and xenophobia.
  • People like my Rt Hon Friend the Member for North East Somerset and Douglas Murray express mainstream, insightful and perfectly decent political views. People may disagree with them, but in no way are they extremists.
    • From a statement in the House of Commons on an independent review into PREVENT, the UK government's counter-radicalism strategy (7 September 2023).
  • I'm here in America to talk about a critical and shared global challenge: uncontrolled and illegal migration [...] It is an existential challenge for the political and cultural institutions of the west.
  • [Claiming the threshold of the Refugee Convention had been lowered for asylum seekers] Where individuals are being persecuted, it is right that we offer sanctuary. But we will not be able to sustain an asylum system if, in effect, simply being gay, or a woman, and fearful of discrimination in your country of origin is sufficient to qualify for protection.
  • Uncontrolled immigration, inadequate integration and a misguided dogma of multiculturalism have proven a toxic combination for Europe over the last few decades.
    Multiculturalism makes no demands of the incomer to integrate. It has failed because it allowed people to come to our society and live parallel lives in it. They could be in the society but not of the society.
    And, in extreme cases, they could pursue lives aimed at undermining the stability and threatening the security of society.
  • If cultural change is too rapid and too big, then what was already there is diluted. Eventually it will disappear.
  • It is no betrayal of my parents' story to say that immigration must be controlled.
  • The British people are compassionate. We will always support those who are genuinely homeless. But we cannot allow our streets to be taken over by rows of tents occupied by people, many of them from abroad, living on the streets as a lifestyle choice.
  • What I want to stop, and what the law abiding majority wants us to stop, is those who cause nuisance and distress to other people by pitching tents in public spaces, aggressively begging, stealing, taking drugs, littering, and blighting our communities.
  • Now as we approach a particularly significant weekend in the life of our nation, one which calls for respect and commemoration, the hate marchers — a phrase I do not resile from — intend to use Armistice Day to parade through London in yet another show of strength.
  • The answer must be: even-handedly. Unfortunately, there is a perception that senior police officers play favourites when it comes to protesters.
  • Right-wing and nationalist protesters who engage in aggression are rightly met with a stern response yet pro-Palestinian mobs displaying almost identical behaviour are largely ignored, even when clearly breaking the law?

2024–present

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  • [On the Conservative's electoral rival, Reform UK] We need to, in the future, to find some way to work together because there shouldn’t be big differences between us. [...] I would welcome Nigel [Farage] into the Conservative party. There's not much difference really between him and many of the policies that we stand for.
    We are a broad church, we should be a welcoming party and an inclusive party and if someone is supportive of the party, that's a precondition and they want Conservatives to get elected then they should be welcomed.

About Braverman

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In alphabetical order by author or source.
  • I have been wondering what, if anything, might persuade Suella Braverman that her rhetoric and strategy to slash immigration might conceivably have gone too far. Nigel Farage staging an intervention? Tommy Robinson calling for a "cooling-off period"? A social media post by Donald Trump urging the home secretary to "take it easy over there in Scotland"?
  • On Monday, at the "National Conservative" conference in London, she declared that net annual migration to the UK must be reduced as a matter of urgency, lest Britons become irrevocably "dependent" on foreign labour and start "forgetting how to do things for ourselves".
  • [M]uch about Braverman is startling. She is the Home Secretary who was sacked for leaking a government document, but reinstated six days later; the former attorney general who condoned the government’s breaking of international law; the erstwhile barrister who wants to curb the power of the judiciary; the daughter of first-generation immigrants who wants to slash both legal and illegal immigration. At October’s Conservative Party conference, she fantasised about a Telegraph front page showing a deportation plane taking off for Rwanda. "That’s my dream," she said. "That’s my obsession."
    Braverman is a Brexit "ultra". She defends the empire. She deplores "cultural Marxism", net-zero targets, the police "policing pronouns on Twitter" and "Benefit Street culture". Last month she blamed the disruption caused by climate protestors on "Guardian-reading, tofu-eating wokerati".
  • [Following Braverman's removal as Home Secretary] Being a forceful personality or associated with a particular wing of the party does not stop you being a successful senior minister. But persistently making statements from which your colleagues feel compelled to back away certainly does. Braverman ruined many good arguments with language that did not sit well with the need for a home secretary to encourage calm, good order and an appreciation throughout the country that we have to understand the views of others.
  • If he fired her there would be a big row, there would be a lot of fireworks.
    But ultimately, prime ministers tend to win those encounters because the Home Secretary will suddenly become a backbencher. And then she’ll quickly lose her purchase - think of Priti Patel.
    No disrespect to Priti, but she's not as powerful a voice on the backbenches as she was as Home Secretary.
  • My clearest recollection of our Home Secretary’s legal acumen came from day one as an MP [in 2015]. We had a presentation from IPSA UK.
    Her question to IPSA concerned whether a speeding ticket occurred during the course of parliamentary duties could be claimed on expenses [...]
    Rather embarrassed, the representative from IPSA said no. [...]
    Thank goodness our Nation has been blessed with such a fine Attorney General and Home Secretary.
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