Home secretary Suella Braverman’s rhetoric in her speech yesterday was “certainly no Enoch Powell situation”, cabinet minister Grant Shapps has insisted this morning.
The defence secretary was asked to give his view on Braverman’s comments that the UK faces a “hurricane” of mass migration.
Grant Shapps told Times Radio: “She makes the absolutely correct point we’ve already seen a lot of movement… we could see a lot more, a hurricane, as she describes it, of people moving.”
When asked about comparisons which have been made to Enoch Powell’s infamous “rivers of blood” speech, Shapps said: “So many people are from immigrant backgrounds in this country. I think I’m third generation myself… Suella’s first generation, her parents came over in the 60s. So this is certainly no Enoch Powell situation, is it, to make the very obvious point.”
In her speech yesterday, Braverman railed against immigration, identity politics and what she called the “luxury beliefs” of progressives.
She said: “One of the most powerful forces reshaping our world is unprecedented mass migration”
“The wind of change that carried my own parents across the globe in the 20th century was a mere gust compared to the hurricane that is coming.”
Last week, Braverman came under fire for a speech in Washington in which she argued that being gay or being a woman was not a sufficient reason to claim asylum.
The home secretary questioned whether courts have redefined asylum to be granted for people suffering “discrimination” instead of “persecution” — especially in the context of someone who is gay or a woman.
“Where individuals are being persecuted, it is right that we offer sanctuary”, she said.
“But we will not be able to sustain an asylum system if in effect, simply being gay, or a woman, and fearful of discrimination in your country of origin, is sufficient to qualify for protection.”