Suella braverman

What is Suella Braverman up to?

10 min listen

Suella Braverman has again dominated conversation with her controversial rhetoric, this time comparing the pro-Palestinian marches to the Orange Marches of Northern Ireland in a punchy op-ed for the Times. Has she finally gone too far for this government? Max Jeffery talks to Katy Balls and James Heale. Produced by Max Jeffery and Cindy Yu.

It shouldn’t be a crime to sniff a goshawk

I notice that the naturalist Chris Packham has been reported to the police for the ‘crime’ of sniffing a goshawk. I had not known that this was an offence – if I had known, I would not do it quite so often, or at worst, made sure nobody was watching me as I approached the birds, tumescent, in my anorak. Goshawks are diurnal, so night-time does offer the opportunity for a good sniff when they are asleep in their nests. The problem is they are also quite rare, largely due to persecution from gamekeepers and, no matter how you dress it up, snorting the scent of a more widespread raptor,

Portrait of the week: Dorries finally quits, Braverman cracks down on crime and Prigozhin is confirmed dead

Home Suella Braverman, the Home Secretary, told police that they must investigate every theft and follow all reasonable leads to catch criminals; the Police Federation of England and Wales said forces were already ‘stretched beyond human limits’. Home Office figures showed that only 3.9 per cent of residential burglaries resulted in someone being charged, and for thefts from the person it was 0.9 per cent. Hartwig Fischer resigned as the director of the British Museum and Jonathan Williams stepped aside as his deputy when it became clear that information about 1,500 or so missing objects had been wrongly dismissed; police continued investigations. Two men were arrested on suspicion of arson

Why weren’t police forces investigating every theft?

Police must investigate every theft. This is the message from the Home Secretary as the government heralds an agreement from all 43 police forces in England and Wales to follow up on any evidence where there is a ‘reasonable line of enquiry’. In practice, that means the police should investigate low-level crimes such as stolen bikes, phones and shoplifting when there is reasonable lead such as a GPS tracker, CCTV footage or a doorbell video. As I noted earlier this month in a cover piece for the magazine, ‘investigate every crime’ doesn’t sound like a particularly novel concept. It raises the question: Why weren’t police investigating every theft? Over the

The strange obsession with Phillip Schofield

As I have noted before, there is always another circle. I thought that last week’s scandal (originally entitled ‘Suellagate’ or ‘speedgate’ by the papers) could not be surpassed for its sheer vacuousness and pointlessness. But then I did not foresee that the next week would be one in which every newspaper and news bulletin would lead with a story about a morning television presenter. Yet here we are, after more than a week of national debate about Phillip Schofield. I first became aware of Schofield when he was presenting children’s television from the BBC’s ‘broom cupboard’ with Gordon the Gopher. I have not followed the career of either character very

Is Sunak heading for a showdown over Rwanda?

When the Prime Minister first assembled his cabinet, the most controversial appointment was Suella Braverman as Home Secretary. She had only just left the role under Liz Truss after she admitted sending an official document from a personal email account. But when Truss fell, Braverman called for Rishi Sunak rather than a Boris Johnson restoration. She was back in the Home Office after less than a week. ‘It’s either stop the boats or leave the ECHR,’ says one senior Tory Some suspected a grubby deal between the two, but Sunak had plenty of reasons to want Braverman back. While critics accuse her of harbouring unsubtle leadership ambitions, her place in

Portrait of the week: Rioting in Cardiff, rising migration and falling inflation

Home A crash in which a 15- and a 16-year-old boy riding on an electric bike were killed led to rioting, the burning of cars and attacks on police in the Ely estate in Cardiff; social media had said the deaths followed a police chase, which the police denied. But video evidence seemed to show a chase. During the riot, one of the boys’ mothers posted a Facebook message: ‘Please I beg you all to stop and let my son be moved to hospital so I can see him.’ A woman hit on 10 May by a police motorcycle escorting the Duchess of Edinburgh died. Rishi Sunak, the Prime Minister,

Do speeding fines work?

Fine lines Would Suella Braverman be more likely to stick to the speed limit had she chosen to go on a speed awareness course instead of being fined? A government-commissioned study in 2018 looked at the reoffending rate among 1.4 million drivers who had accepted the offer of a speed awareness course and compared it with that of drivers who opted to take three points and pay a fine instead. Within two years of taking the course, around a quarter of drivers had reoffended. However, the rate was lower than it was for motorists who had chosen to pay the fine. The relative reduction of reoffending was put at 12-23%

Douglas Murray

There is such thing as a stupid question

Some people seem to make a career of being ashamed (or at least claiming to be ashamed) of their country. Personally I don’t feel it – apart from when I see journalists from the BBC, ITV or Sky questioning our political leaders while they are abroad. Then a great wave of revulsion and national shame surges within me. It happened last weekend when Rishi Sunak was at the G7 summit in Japan. These meetings of the world’s leading economies are pretty important affairs, so much so that major media organisations fly journalists out to cover them. But as Sunak and his hosts stood to answer questions about the summit, what

Sunak can’t afford to lose Braverman

Back in the early days of the Blair governments, Alastair Campbell was reputed to have a rule for resignations: once a scandal had been in the news for ten consecutive days, a minister had to go. It was a stupid rule because it merely encouraged parliamentary lobby journalists to keep a story going until the limit was up in the expectation of claiming another ministerial scalp. Since then Alastair has claimed, possibly truthfully, that he cannot remember imposing this rule and had probably come up with it when the Tories were still in power as a means of further stoking up the atmosphere of crisis around John Major. This story

Did Suella Braverman break the ministerial code?

Fresh from claiming the scalp of Dominic Raab, is the civil service now after Suella Braverman? The Sunday Times reports this weekend that the Home Secretary wanted civil servants to help her ‘dodge’ a speeding fine, amid much grumbling about the government’s migration policies. Plus ça change… Mr S read the latest reports with intrigue. The Home Secretary was caught speeding last summer, and, as is standard, was offered to either attend a speed awareness course or have three points on her licence. Braverman apparently asked civil servants to arrange ‘a private one-to-one driving awareness course’, but the civil servants responded that this was not within their remit. The Home

Tories’ thoughts are turning to defeat

Ever since Rishi Sunak became Prime Minister, his aides have worried that May would be the month of mutiny. His mandate over the party has always been weak, since he lost the summer’s leadership race to Liz Truss. He was also certain to preside over heavy losses in the local elections, so the aftermath of that defeat was seen as the ideal time for a rebel to strike. As if to tempt fate, Sunak invited more than 200 Tory MPs for drinks in the No. 10 garden on Monday night. He attempted to lift spirits with jokes at Keir Starmer’s expense. ‘He was meant to be writing a book about his

Rishi’s ECHR battle at the Council of Europe

11 min listen

The Prime Minister has gone to Iceland today to see the Council of Europe, where he has been talking about immigration and the ECHR with other European leaders. On the episode, Katy Balls explains his mission to get other leaders on board with the UK’s hardline approach to immigration. Cindy Yu also talks to James Heale about the second day of the National Conservatism Conference and Michael Gove’s recommendation for conservatives. Produced by Cindy Yu.

Suella Braverman rows back on the ‘stop the Channel boats’ pledge

The whole point about making five key pledges, as Rishi Sunak did at the start of the year, is to give the average voter a consistent message. The idea is that such pledges, which should have been judiciously drawn-up based upon extensive opinion research, are hammered home again and again until the typical person far away from the Westminster Village has digested them. What is Sunak’s administration for? Surely everyone knows that: to halve inflation this year, grow the economy, make sure our national debt is falling, cut NHS waiting and stop the boats. Braverman declined to confirm that the PM’s pledge means the boats will be stopped in their

Why Sunak shouldn’t sack Suella Braverman

As Home Secretary Suella Braverman struggles to keep her job in the face of vicious attacks from the official opposition, her fate will be the first big political test for new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.  If Sunak bows to the almost hysterical shrieks for Braverman’s scalp she will be the fourth big beast brought down by a combined Labour and media assault – aided by a handful of usefully idiotic backbench Tory MPs only too willing to publicly undermine the government – since the Tory election victory in 2019. Already Labour MPs such as Chris Bryant have called on the Home Secretary to resign, while Keir Starmer has said Sunak should sack Braverman

Will the Tory truce hold?

During the summer leadership race between Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, Sunak’s team were braced for a bloodbath if he won. It would have required a major polling error and gone down as one of the biggest political upsets in recent years. ‘If we win, we win by 1 per cent,’ was how one close ally of Sunak put it at the time. If this had played out, it would have come as a nasty surprise to many in the Tory party. With wounds still raw from Boris Johnson’s departure, the deposed former PM’s loyalists would have quickly gone on the offensive – accusing Sunak of being a traitor for

Suella’s plea to the ERG: back Truss

Having urged her supporters to back Liz Truss yesterday, Suella Braverman has now been forced to, er, do the same again today. Team Truss are doing their damnedest to try to lock up the right-wing vote by sending out leading figures like Lord Frost and Simon Clarke to urge rival candidates to stand aside. Unfortunately for the Foreign Secretary, thus far the Badenoch camp seem noticeably reluctant to do just that. While not all of her supporters still think she could make the final two, others have their doubts about Truss and her electoral prowess. Braverman’s latest appeal therefore is an attempt to remind right-wingers that, unless they unite sharpish,

Penny Mordaunt’s trans problem

The Tory leadership contest is yet to officially begin, but things are already turning nasty. As well as reports in the papers of dirty dossiers on candidates, Tory grandees have come out to call for a ceasefire in which Boris Johnson loyalists stop attacking Rishi Sunak. Now a row has broken out over Penny Mordaunt’s candidacy. The former defence secretary announced this weekend that she will be running for leader – storming into second place on MP support. On announcing the news, Mordaunt took to social media to try to address one of the biggest criticisms facing her when it comes to the contest: that she is too ‘woke’. The

Braverman’s brush with the law

Ah student politics: is there anything quite like it? The strange creatures it attracts, the passions it unleashes, the adolescent ambition and the glorious pettiness of it all; so vicious precisely because the stakes are so small. Such an ignoble tradition has spawned many of our lords and masters – Boris Johnson was an unabashed Union hack at Oxford while William Hague was ‘convicted of electoral malpractice’ in one election of the Oxford University Conservative Association (OUCA). And having spent some time recently in the Cambridge University archives, Mr S is delighted to see the route from the common room to the Commons is still alive and well. For perusing copies of

The blindness of cultural Marxism

Words we are not allowed to use any more now include ‘cultural Marxism’. Suella Braverman, now the Attorney General, used them last year and was immediately upbraided by the organisation Hope Not Hate. Very right-wing people sometimes use it too, you see, so it must never be uttered by anyone else. Banning the use of the phrase ‘cultural Marxism’ is about as culturally Marxist as it is possible to get, but I don’t suppose the cultural Marxists at Hope Not Hate appreciated the irony. Cultural Marxism is a largely 1960s excrescence in which everything must be seen through the prism of unequal power relations, other than which nothing else matters