Rishi Sunak did not sign off Suella Braverman’s article accusing the police of being biased towards left-wing protesters, No.10 has revealed.
In a piece for The Times this morning, the home secretary said the police were guilty of “playing politics” by favouring some demos over others.
Asked on Thursday morning if Downing Street had approved the text in advance, the prime minister’s spokesperson said: “It was not cleared by No.10.
“We are looking into what happened in this instance around the op-ed.”
Asked if Sunak still had full confidence in Braverman, the spokesperson said: “Yes.”
Pressed on whether No.10 believed the home secretary respected the prime minister’s authority, they said: “Yes.”
Directly contradicting the home secretary’s article, the spokesperson added: “The prime minister continues to believe the police will operate without fear or favour.”
Braverman’s comments come amid the ongoing controversy over this weekend’s pro-Palestine march, which coincides with Armistice Day.
The home secretary is also facing a backlash from Tory MPs over her inflammatory language in the article.
She claimed “there is a perception that senior police officers play favourites when it comes to protesters”.
“Right-wing and nationalist protesters who engage in aggression are rightly met with a stern response yet pro-Palestinian mobs displaying almost identical behaviour are largely ignored, even when clearly breaking the law,” the home secretary said.
“I have spoken to serving and former police officers who have noted this double standard.”
Both Labour and the Lib Dems have called on Sunak to sack Braverman over the remarks, which came after Metropolitan Police commissioner Mark Rowley refused to ban Saturday’s march.