Home Secretary Suella Braverman has sparked controversy by accusing police of "playing favourites" and showing bias in their treatment of protests. In an article in The Times, Braverman claimed that right-wing protestors are treated more harshly than "politically-connected minority groups who are favoured by the left." She specifically questioned why lockdown objectors were not given leniency during the COVID-19 pandemic while Black Lives Matter demonstrators were allowed to break rules. Braverman's remarks have drawn criticism from fellow politicians, including Transport Secretary Mark Harper, who disagrees with her claim of bias.
Accusations of bias and double standards
In her article, Braverman highlighted what she sees as a double standard in the way police handle protests. She questioned why right-wing and nationalist protestors who engage in aggression receive a strong response, while pro-Palestinian groups displaying similar behavior are often ignored. Braverman argued that there is a perception that senior police officers play favorites when it comes to protesters, and she has spoken to serving and former officers who have noted this double standard.
Controversy and political response
Braverman's accusations have caused a stir within the Cabinet and among fellow MPs. Some ministers have distanced themselves from her comments, and there is speculation that she is deliberately provoking controversy in order to launch a leadership bid. Transport Secretary Mark Harper, while not directly addressing Braverman's remarks, stated that all police forces are focused on upholding the law without bias. London Mayor Sadiq Khan criticized Braverman's article, calling it inaccurate, inflammatory, and irresponsible.