According to media reports, a senior Conservative peer has accused Suella Braverman of employing “racist rhetoric” after the home secretary singled out British-Pakistani males as being of particular concern in child sexual assault cases.
Sayeeda Warsi, the Conservative Party’s first Asian chairperson, stated that Conservatives cannot “use the pigment in their skin as a defence mechanism to say they are not racist,” adding that “brown people can be racist too,” according to The Guardian.
Warsi said Braverman’s remarks have “got to stop” and called on Rishi Sunak to send a “really strong message that this kind of rhetoric… has got to stop”.
“I think the prime minister has to get a really strong message that this kind of rhetoric, whether it’s on small boats, whether it’s the stuff she was saying on the weekend which is not based on evidence, not nuanced, not kind of explanatory in any way, it has got to stop.”
She added: “I don’t think any of my colleagues can use the pigment in their skin as some sort of a defence mechanism to say they are not racist. You know brown people can be racist too”, The Guardian reported.
Asked if she was calling the home secretary racist, she said: “I am calling her rhetoric racist. I am.”
Albie Amankona, a Tory campaigner who co-founded the race relations group Conservatives Against Racism For Equality, said on Twitter: “I don’t understand how it’s possible for one person, Suella Braverman, to find themselves almost weekly, at the centre of so much racial insensitivity. I’ve said it before, there is something not right there.”
Warsi’s comments follow letters sent to Sunak calling for him to act over Braverman’s rhetoric, including from the British Pakistan Foundation, which accused the home secretary of seeking to portray all British-Pakistani men in a “divisive and dangerous way”.