The Conservative home secretary,Suella Braverman, who is responsible for immigration policies in the UK, refused to apologise for her party’s use of ‘Swarm’ and ‘Invasion’ to describe migrants and refugees entering the country via boats this Friday.
In a video posted on Twitter by an NGO, Freedom From Torture, the minister was confronted by a Holocaust survivor, Joan Salter, over the use of language that Salter deemed to be akin to ‘Nazi rhetoric.’
Mrs Salter, in an impassioned speech, said: “When I hear you using words against refugees like ‘swarms’ and an ‘invasion’, I am reminded of the language used to dehumanise and justify the murder of my family and millions of others”. She then asked: “Why do you find the need to use that kind of language?”
Mrs Braverman replied: “I won’t apologise for the language that I have used to demonstrate the scale of the problem. I see my job as being honest with the British people and honest for the British people.”.
It is estimated that 45,728 people crossed the Channel in 2022, an increase of 17,000 from 2021. This has led the government to take action against people trying to enter the UK illegally, such as criminalising unauthorised boat crossings and sending migrants to Rwanda.
A spokesperson for the minister’s department said the shortened video misrepresented the interaction between Braverman and Salter, they stated: “The home secretary listened carefully to the testimony. She thanked her for sharing her story. The home secretary also expressed her sympathy and set out why it is important to tackle illegal migration.
While Braverman has not used the word swarm to describe people crossing the Channel, it was used by former Conservative Prime Minister, David Cameron, to describe people crossing the Mediterranean “seeking a better life”.
The government treats many of the people crossing as economic migrants, despite reports from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, which claimed they should be treated as asylum seekers or refugees.
Freedom From Torture responded to the government’s request for the video to be taken down with “we are standing our ground.”
Share This Post On
Leave a comment
You need to login to leave a comment. Log-in