Lies, Falsehoods and Misrepresentations from Boris Johnson to Rishi Sunak

‎”…British Pakistani males – who hold cultural values totally at odds with British values, who see women in a demeaned and illegitimate way and pursue an outdated and frankly heinous approach in terms of the way they behave”

Suella Braverman, Home Secretary, Sky News

Facts

When outlining government measures to tackle grooming gangs, Braverman singled out British-Pakistani men as a major source of concern. She described a “predominance of certain ethnic groups – and I say British Pakistani males – who hold cultural values totally at odds with British values, who see women in a demeaned and illegitimate way and pursue an outdated and frankly heinous approach in terms of the way they behave.”

The Home Office published a report in 2020 on group-based child exploitation which found that the majority of offenders were young white men, and that it was not possible to conclude whether any particular ethnic group was disproportionately represented. 

In response to these comments, a joint letter, signed by 50 researchers and more than a dozen organisations, has been sent to PM Rishi Sunak and Suella Braverman, urging them to avoid narratives on abuse based on “misinformation, racism and division”.

Verdict

It is unhappily the case that, to use Suella Braverman’s language, many British males behave in “a demeaned and illegitimate way and pursue an outdated and frankly heinous approach in terms of the way they behave.” However Home Secretary Braverman’s statement singling out British-Pakistani men was contradicted by the findings of a report from her own Home Office. Her false remarks echoed right-wing tropes, and were inflammatory. They stereotyped an ethnic group, and were therefore open to the charge of straightforward racism. They therefore risked inciting hatred and are wholly inappropriate, and indeed disgraceful, coming from the British Home Secretary. 

We reached out to the Home Office which replied to the effect that this “is not something the Home Office would comment on.” We also reached out to Suella Braverman’s parliamentary office, but received no reply.

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