UK's Suella Braverman Attacks Churches Facilitating Bogus Asylum Cases

The Indian-origin Conservative Party MP wrote she is "angry" that the UK is far from taking back control of its borders despite the "landmark restoration" of sovereignty after Brexit.

UK's Suella Braverman Attacks Churches Facilitating Bogus Asylum Cases

Suella Braverman said far too many asylum seekers are bogus and "using our laws against us" (File/AFP)


Britain's former Home Secretary Suella Braverman lashed out at several churches around the country that facilitate bogus asylum claims at an “industrial scale” by wrongly certifying non-Christians.

The Indian-origin Conservative Party MP, who shifted to the Parliament backbenches after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak sacked her from his cabinet last year, wrote in ‘The Daily Telegraph' this weekend that she is “angry” that the UK is far from taking back control of its borders despite the “landmark restoration” of sovereignty after Brexit.

The immigration hardliner took particular aim at churches that certify that asylum seekers face certain persecution if returned to their Islamic country of origin after befriending the vicar.

“Take the church as an example. While at the Home Office, I became aware of churches around the country facilitating industrial-scale bogus asylum claims,” she said in an opinion piece in the paper.

“They are well-known within the migrant communities and, upon arrival in the UK, migrants are directed to these churches as a one-stop shop to bolster their asylum case. Attend mass once a week for a few months, befriend the vicar, get your baptism date in the diary, and bingo, you'll be signed off by a member of the clergy that you're now a God-fearing Christian who will face certain persecution if removed to your Islamic country of origin. It has to stop. We must get wise to the problem,” she said.

The barrister, who fought many such cases for the Home Office in the past, said she discovered that the “racketeering” of bogus asylum seekers had not only continued but expanded in myriad ways.

She notes: “Today, it is adults claiming to be children, Muslims pretending to be Christians, heterosexuals feigning homosexuality, healthy people alleging mental illness, economic migrants impersonating refugees fleeing persecution, those who have chosen to come here arguing that they have been trafficked as slaves, or those masquerading as political dissidents."

“Many asylum seekers are genuine and it's right that we offer help when their cause is just. But far too many are bogus and using our laws against us.”

In a clear challenge to Rishi Sunak, under pressure to bring down illegal migration figures, Ms Braverman demanded the answer lies in Britain withdrawing from the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR).

She claimed the jurisprudence of the Strasbourg-based court, binding in the UK, has taken an “ever-expansive” approach to the human rights set out in the original text.

“We've tried working within its boundaries for decades but that approach has failed,” she declared.

Using her migrant roots as the daughter of a Goan-origin father and Tamil mother as a reference point, the former Minister insisted that her intent is not to “demonise” those who seek a better life abroad.

“My own parents had that same deep longing when they emigrated - lawfully - to the UK from Kenya and Mauritius in the 1960s. People may come here lawfully, in an orderly manner. But what we are talking about with illegal immigration is the deception, criminality, and playing of the system that so defines our asylum policy in the 21st century,” she said.

“We can dance around the issue for years to come, but the truth is that our government will always be limited in what it can do unless it withdraws from the European Convention on Human Rights,” she added.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)