An outgoing government adviser has criticized Suella Braverman for allegedly encouraging a rise in racism in the UK and “normalising” the policies of Nigel Farage.
Nimco Ali, who is stepping down from his role as the government’s adviser on tackling violence against women, added that Rishi Sunak should sack Braverman, warning that keeping her as home minister would see him lose the next election.
In an interview with the Sunday Times, Ali, who was born in Somalia before moving to the UK as a child refugee, said of Braverman: “She basically feeds into this Nigel Farage stuff … and when you start to normalize these things it’s really difficult to put it back in the box.
“When you have your Home Secretary talking the way she talks and being cheered on, it’s problematic, especially when you’re the first man of color to be Prime Minister.”
Ali, who is a survivor of female genital mutilation (FGM), announced that she was effectively quitting her government advisory role during a live radio broadcast, saying she was on a “completely different planet” from the home secretary.
She said seeing the home secretary’s eyes “light up” as she discussed deporting people from backgrounds not so different from her own, as well as Braverman’s “crazy rhetoric” over the summer, left her with no choice but to leave her advisory role.
Ali, who is close friends with Carrie and Boris Johnson, said she saw clear links between this kind of rhetoric and the repeated racist abuse she suffered during the Euro 2020 football tournament.
Asked if she believed Braverman’s language helped incite such racist incidents, she said: “100%. It legitimizes it. When someone like her says that, you think you’re still talking about people of your own heritage to some extent, but you’re also normalizing Nigel Farage.”
She said she could not understand the Home Secretary’s “ambition” to “put people on a plane to Rwanda and get rid of human rights”, adding that it made her anxious that Braverman, “a woman of colour”, could be comfortable with such a point of view. She also accused Braverman of “vindictiveness” and a “lack of compassion”.
The Ministry of the Interior has been contacted for comment.
Ali also alleged that Dame Cressida Dick, then Metropolitan Police Chief, complained that the government’s initial response to Sarah Everard’s killing by serving police officer Wayne Couzens had been “over the top”.
Mr Dick’s first words in a high-level meeting chaired by Boris Johnson in March last year soon after Everard’s murder were “this has been blown out of proportion”, Ali claimed.
The former Met commissioner has dismissed Ali’s claims. “I did not make those comments and it is not language I would ever use. I fully supported every effort the Government made at the time, advising and taking action in the Met. Throughout my service I tried to reduce violence against women and girls, she told the Sunday Times.