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Charity refuses Home Office demands to delete clip of Holocaust survivor confronting Suella Braverman

15 Jan 2023 4 minute read
Home Secretary Suella Braverman. Photo James Manning PA Images

A charity which supports torture victims has defied Home Office demands to delete a video of Suella Braverman being confronted by a Holocaust survivor over her language on immigration.

Freedom From Torture has said the Home Secretary should be “ashamed” of her “dehumanising” rhetoric and it will not be “pressured into helping her hide it” by taking down the clip.

The video shows 83-year-old Holocaust survivor Joan Salter confronting the Government minister during a meeting in her Fareham constituency in Hampshire on Friday evening.

The Home Office has said the one-minute video “misrepresents the interaction” because it presents selected excerpts of Ms Braverman’s response, which was several minutes long.

During the exchange, Ms Salter, who has been recognised with an MBE for her work on Holocaust education, likened Ms Braverman’s language on migrants attempting to cross the English Channel to that used by the Nazis.

Ms Braverman thanked Ms Salter for her question, but said she “won’t apologise” for previously describing migrants as “an invasion”.

Freedom From Torture chief executive Sonya Sceats said the charity will not remove the short clip from social media, and pointed out that a video of the full exchange is available on its website.

Dehumanising language

Ms Sceats said: “Suella Braverman refused to apologise for offensive and dehumanising language when challenged by a Holocaust survivor at a party meeting.

“Not only that, but the Home Office has demanded we remove the footage.

“As an organisation providing therapy to torture survivors who feel targeted by her language and who know first-hand where such dehumanising language can lead, we will not do so.

“She has used language she should be ashamed of, and we won’t be pressured into helping her hide it.”

A Home Office spokesman said: “Footage of a conversation with a Holocaust survivor is circulating online.

“The video has been heavily edited and doesn’t reflect the full exchange.

“Since the footage misrepresents the interaction about a sensitive area of policy, we have asked the organisation who posted the video to take it down.”

Ms Salter, who fled to the UK from Belgium, asked Ms Braverman why she described migrants as “an invasion”, which she said was reminiscent of “the language used to dehumanise and justify the murder of my family and millions of others” in the 1940s.

The Home Secretary thanked Ms Salter for her question, and said she “shared a huge amount of concern and sympathy” over the “challenge” of illegal immigration, adding that her own parents were not born in Britain.

She added: “There is a huge problem that we have right now when it comes to illegal migration, the scale of which we have not known before.

“I won’t apologise for the language that I have used to demonstrate the scale of the problem.”

Ms Braverman’s answer was greeted with applause from the audience.

The full video is here.

Belgium

Ms Slater was born Fanny Zimetbaum in Brussels in 1940 to Polish Jewish parents and was just three months old when Belgium was invaded by the Nazis.

Following the invasion, she escaped to France with her mother and sister before being taken to the US by the Red Cross in 1943.

Ms Salter remained in foster care in America until being reunited with her parents in 1947 in London, where she has lived since.

Less than a week into her tenure as Home Secretary under Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Ms Braverman referred to her job as being “about stopping the invasion on our southern coast”.

She had previously held the post under Liz Truss from September 6 until October 19, when she resigned for breaching the ministerial code by sharing an official document from her personal email address.


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Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
19 days ago

Enough; she needs psychological help and should be shown the door and offered help as she goes. She is obviously unfit to have any say over other human beings whatsoever…

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
19 days ago

The Home Office is attempting a cover up to defend a Home Secretary whose every uttered word provokes outrage and lights the touch paper of yet another scandal. A clear admission of wrongdoing and guilt. Look at them all scurrying around trying to fix an ongoing problem that can only be fixed by removing her from her post. She has to go NOW!

Steve Woods
Steve Woods
19 days ago

As the meeting was a constituency meeting – i.e. a political event, not a government one – why was the Home Office sticking its oar in? It was none of that department’s business.

Having said that, Braverman is yet another example of that special mixture of arrogance and ignorance that can only be provided by an education at both a fee-paying school and Oxbridge.

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
19 days ago
Reply to  Steve Woods

The Home Office has done its’ business in its’ pants and is now having to conduct a clean up in more ways than one.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
19 days ago

This is making a mockery of the Tory Diversity claims of the 2022 Group…

David
David
19 days ago

Is she a Holocaust denier?

Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
19 days ago

More undemocratic behaviour by the Saesneg Nazis….and they are just like the Nazis, they have their camps for “immigrants” (in reality, people seeking asylum), they use vile rhetoric to dehumanise people, they attack minority groups, use dog whistles and codes designed to play to the far right, their treatment of transpeople both within England and in regards to the devolved nations and indeed, in their international outlook is extremely sinister, they remove rights on a whim, attack Unions as “communists”, prohibit teaching children about alternatives to capitalism, encourage distrust of intellectuals, use calls to an imagined better past, fetishise past… Read more »

Karl
Karl
19 days ago

How dare the home office again fake reality. We are sick of the whitewashing of the UK governments. The charity would have no morals if they backed down

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
19 days ago

She does like to keep her cauldron of hate bubbling away, the darling of the 1973 brexit rematch brigade…

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
19 days ago

Such a simpleton, stopping inspections of home office concentration camps won’t make them go away…each dept has its own fridge, bucket of sand or no inspectors. Remember Major Major in Catch 22…you can see me when I’m out…I wonder what Catch 23 will bring…

Dai Ponty
Dai Ponty
19 days ago

One of the many vile nasty of the the THATCHER BRATTS that are in the TORY PARTY

Doctor Trousers
19 days ago

Something seems deeply malignant about her. Most tories just seem kind of pathetic, but something about braverman properly gives me the creeps.

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