- Written by Henry Zeffman & Joshua Nevett
- bbc politics
A spat broke out over Home Secretary Suela Braverman’s attack on the Metropolitan Police for its handling of pro-Palestinian protests.
Writing for The TimesMs Braverman accused the force of applying “double standards” in cracking down on protests.
The Metropolitan Police said there was no basis to ban pro-Palestinian marches on Armistice Day this Saturday.
Rishi Sunak called the force’s chiefs to Downing Street and said they would take responsibility for any problems.
After the meeting, Ms. Braverman said: I wrote an article for the Timesclaimed there was a “perception that senior officers were the favorites when it came to protesters.”
The interior minister said the pro-Palestinian marches, which began last month in response to Israel’s siege on Gaza, had been “problematic” with “violence in the fringes” and “highly offensive” chants, posters and stickers. ” he said.
“Right-wing and nationalist protesters who engage in acts of aggression are understandably met with harsh treatment, but pro-Palestinian mobs exhibiting similar behavior are rarely punished, even when clearly violating the law. Ignored,” she wrote.
The article has been widely condemned by former police officers and MPs, with opposition parties and some Conservatives calling for her to be sacked as home secretary.
A senior Tory MP told the BBC: “The Home Secretary’s awfulness is now reflecting on the Prime Minister. Keeping her in the post is damaging to the Prime Minister.”
However, the interior minister’s right-wing allies defended him, saying he should not have been allowed to carry out the pro-Palestinian march.
Conservative MP Danny Kruger denied intervening and said he was entitled to comment on the “wider police culture”.
There have been regular protests in London after Hamas militants launched an unprecedented attack on Israel from the Gaza Strip on October 7, killing more than 1,400 people and taking more than 200 hostages. is being carried out.
In response, Israel continues to attack the Gaza Strip and has now launched ground attacks. More than 10,500 people have been killed in Gaza, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry.
London police are under increasing pressure to prevent a pro-Palestinian march from being held on Saturday.
But the Met secretary, Sir Mark Rowley, said a “very high threshold” had not been reached, saying it could only be stopped if there was a risk of serious harm.
After Wednesday’s meeting, Mr Sunak said the protests planned for Armistice Day were “not only disrespectful, but also disrespectful to the memory of those who have contributed so much so that we can live in freedom and peace today.” “It hurts the feeling of gratitude from the heart.”
Learn more about the Israel-Gaza war
The conflict between the government and the Metropolitan Police appears to have calmed down, with the prime minister confirming the possibility of Saturday’s march.
But in the wake of Mr Braverman’s article, the momentum has become more intense than ever, stoking dissatisfaction within the Conservative Party and putting pressure on the Prime Minister.
Many of the Home Secretary’s colleagues agree with her on the substance, but are frustrated by having to repeatedly defend or distance herself from her rhetoric.
One government source told the BBC that Mrs Braverman’s intervention was “unimpeded”.
Labour’s shadow home secretary, Yvette Cooper, described it as a “dangerous attempt to undermine respect for the police” and London Mayor Sadiq Khan said it was “irresponsible”.
“The most shocking part of all this is the prime minister’s weakness in standing up to Zuela,” the Labor leader claimed.
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey said Mr Sunak “must act with integrity, including finally sacking an out-of-control Home Secretary”.
“Suela Braverman is putting police officers at risk ahead of far-right protesters gathering in the capital this weekend,” Sir Ed said.
Former Metropolitan Superintendent Dal Babu said Mrs Braverman’s comments would cause “huge problems and difficulties for the police force”.
He said her comments showed the “increasing politicization of the police” and that how to handle demonstrations should be a operational matter for police officers.
Braverman said in the article that the march was not “just a cry for help for Gaza” but “an assertion of superiority by certain groups, especially Islamists, of the kind that is common in Northern Ireland.” I wrote that I believe that. .
A source close to the Home Secretary told the BBC that the comment was in reference to the activities of “dissident republicans”.
In response to the article, one Conservative Party official said the comparisons to Northern Ireland were “completely offensive and ignorant”.
Mr Braverman also asked why “lockdown protesters were given no respite from security police, while Black Lives Matters demonstrators were allowed to break the rules”. questioned.
The Home Secretary wrote: “While right-wing and nationalist protesters who engage in acts of aggression are understandably met with harsh responses, pro-Palestinian mobs who exhibit much the same behavior, even when clearly violating the law, Even if it does exist, is it largely ignored?
“I have spoken with current and former police officers who have noticed this double standard.”
Former cabinet minister Nadine Dorries claimed Mr Braverman was about to be sacked in order to give him a platform of martyrdom in service to the right.
“The competition is now beginning to see who will be the leader of the opposition,” Dorries told the BBC.