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Did the Home Secretary ignore official advice?

Following allegations that Suella Braverman failed to book hotels to house migrants, questions continue to be fielded towards the embattled Home Secretary.

Given the worsening overcrowding at the migrant processing facility, Braverman is to make a statement to the House of Commons later today.

The statement follows a fire attack at the Border Force centre in Dover and the Manston asylum centre in Kent.

A Parliamentary spokesperson said that the statement to MPs will also address the issue of her personal email use.

Alternative accommodation for migrants

In contrast to her successor, Grant Shapps who agreed to provide alternative accommodation for migrants in hotels, the Home Office has been quick to clarify Braverman’s position.

A Home Office spokesperson said Braverman has taken “urgent decisions to alleviate issues at Manston and source alternative accommodation”.

They said any claims that advice was deliberately ignored “are completely baseless”.

The Home Office added, “the number of people arriving in the UK via small boats has reached record levels, which has put our asylum system under incredible pressure and costs the British taxpayer millions of pounds a day.”

Diphtheria outbreaks’ at Manston

Speaking to the BBC Laura Kuenssberg programme this weekend, Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said “What you’ve got to do is overhaul the whole system and take stronger action to prevent the dangerous boats crossing the Channel that are putting lives at risk.

Highlighting the “appalling conditions” at Manston immigration processing centre, Cooper said that there were diphtheria outbreaks at the facility.

Referencing the Government’s withdrawal from the Dublin regulations as part of the problem in the backlog, Cooper said “We need a new agreement in place with France around the Channel crossings, and we need a significant increase in the activities of the National Crime Agency because we’ve got a proliferation of criminal activities in the Channel that has increased in the couple of years.”

Home Secretary
The Home Secretary, Suella Braverman is under increasing pressure following (Image: https://www.gov.uk/government/ministers)

Use of personal emails

In a letter to the Home Affairs Select Committee, Braverman admits that she sent government documents to her personal email six times between 6 September and 19 October.

In the letter to the Chair of the Select Committee, Dame Diana Johnson she repeated her assurances to the Prime Minister upon her re-appointment to the role saying, “I also gave the Prime Minister assurances that I would not use my personal email for official business and reaffirmed my understanding of and adherence to the Ministerial Code.”

Labour has accused the Prime Minister of a “grubby deal” with Braverman to secure his position in Number 10. Last week at Prime Ministers Questions, the Leader of the Opposition, Sir Keir Starmer said “We can all see what’s happened here. He’s so weak he’s done a grubby deal trading national security because he was scared to lose another leadership election.”

Dangerous channel crossings hit record numbers

On Saturday 29th October, almost 1,000 migrants crossed the English Channel in 24 small boats, the Ministry of Defence said.

Government figures collated by the BBC show 39,430 people have crossed on small boats so far this year, compared with 28,461 who arrived in 2021.

The Home Affairs Committee recently warned that the nationality of those crossing the channel have now changed, with significant numbers coming from Albania. These migrants are linked closely to criminal gangs and underworld.

Final thought

Who will last longer, Suella Braverman or a block of tofu? It seems to have a whiff of the end about it.

Not many Ministers survive a breach of the Ministerial Code, let alone return after less than a week, then an outbreak of diphtheria and a petrol bombing. After the last few months of British politics, nothing surprises us anymore.

The one thing that is surprising is that the Star has not yet launched a video channel to decide whether the Home Secretary will last longer than a block of tofu after her much memed rant in the Commons a few weeks ago.

MPs are furious that the Braverman affair has overshadowed what should have been an easy relaunch of the Conservative Government’s fortunes.

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Conservative backbencher, Andrew Percy was scathing about Braverman’s misuse of her personal email

If some of the most vulnerable people in society, i.e., refugees and migrants fleeing conflict were not involved, the situation would be laughable. However, the situation at the migrant processing centres seems out of control, with urgent action needed to resolve the situation.

The Government must get a grip of the situation, but we suspect team tofu will eventually win…

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