Suella Braverman Says People Protesting Hotels For Migrants Are Not 'Racist Or Bigoted'

Home secretary says frustration with accommodation for asylum seekers is "understandable" amid demonstrations erupting into violence.
Home secretary Suella Braverman
Home secretary Suella Braverman
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Home secretary Suella Braverman has said people protesting at migrants being housed in hotels are not “racist or bigoted”.

In an interview, Braverman told GB News that tensions over migrants staying in hotels is “understandable”.

But the cabinet minister added violence was “not acceptable” and that “anyone contemplating violence, harassment or intimidation should should desist”.

Anti-migrant protesters have gathered in recent weeks outside hotels, where they have clashed with counter-demonstrators.

Some 15 people were arrested after violence erupted during a demonstration outside the Suites Hotel in Knowsley, Merseyside.

More protests have been planned around the country.

Braverman said housing asylum seekers in hotels is “causing understandable tensions within communities, pressures on local resources, and is frankly unsustainable”.

She added: “I very much understand people’s frustrations with hotels being occupied by large numbers of illegal immigrants or asylum seekers.”

When asked whether she agreed with comments by Cornwall Council leader Linda Taylor, who described people planning a protest against asylum seekers being accommodated in Newquay as “abhorrent, racist and bigots”, Braverman replied: “I think anyone contemplating violence, harassment or intimidation should should desist from doing that. It is not an acceptable way to voice your concerns or frustrations.

“We are all frustrated with the situation we are currently finding ourselves in.

“It is clear and undeniable there are really, really serious pressures in communities and saying so does not make you racist or bigoted.”

Braverman has previously claimed that it was her “dream” to send refugees to Rwanda, and described the current crisis of migrants arriving via the English Channel as an “invasion”.

The government is trying to find alternative accommodation for asylum seekers, including empty holiday parks, former student halls or disused military barracks.

At prime minister’s questions, Rishi Sunak said the home secretary would make a “formal update” in the coming weeks on progress in finding alternatives to hotels.

Barverman pledged to do “whatever it takes” to put in place a system to deter people from crossing the English Channel in small boats – including the possibility of leaving the European Convention on Human Rights.

“At this stage, nothing’s ruled out,” she told GB News.


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