UK’s home secretary defends herself against allegations of being racist
The UK’s home secretary has defended herself against allegations of being racist after her recent comments on grooming gangs, saying she spoke the “plain truth.”
Following her newspaper column published earlier in April, Home Secretary Suella Braverman was criticized after describing grooming gangs’ members as “groups of men, almost all British-Pakistani,” reported The Independent.
Braverman was quoted as saying that “accusing me of racism for speaking plain truths distorts the meaning of the term and does a great disservice to all of us working to combat racism.”
She said it was not racist to speak “plain truths,” but added that most British-Pakistani men are not perpetrators of sexual abuse.
Braverman said that she had briefly considered posing as a caller to a radio station to deny the allegations and defend herself against claims of racism.
She wrote in The Spectator that she intended to quote Margaret Thatcher, and said: “Last week a radio show had a phone-in asking listeners to debate whether I’m a racist… I thought about calling in as Margaret from Fareham, to suggest the home secretary take courage from another Margaret’s words: ‘I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.’”
The government published a review in 2020 that found members of child grooming gangs hailed from multiple backgrounds.
Commissioned by the Home Office, the review said most group child sex offenders were men under the age of 30, and the majority were white.
Braverman added in her column: “To say the overwhelming majority of perpetrators in towns such as Rotherham, Telford, and Rochdale were British-Pakistani and that their victims were white girls is not to say that most British-Pakistanis are perpetrators of sexual abuse.
“The former is a truth, one that made authorities reluctant to confront the issue. The latter is a lie, the speaking of which would be a disgraceful prejudice. I know that my motives will be questioned — such is a politician’s lot. But there are lines that we must not cross. If everything is racist, nothing is.”
Braverman also took aim at Labour for party leader Sir Keir Starmer’s attacks on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak over law and order policy, and Starmer’s assertion that “99.9 percent of women” do not have male organs.