Nine organizations reported UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman to the Bar Standards Board (BSB) on last Thursday regarding her use of language when speaking about the British Pakistani community and asylum seekers during an April televised interview. The organizations urged the legal watchdog to investigate Braverman, who is a qualified barrister, stating that her remarks are “fuelling racist sentiments and discriminatory narratives.”
In a letter of complaint to the BSB, groups including the London Muslim Community Forum, Society of Asian Lawyers, the Association of Muslim Lawyers, and the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, claimed that Braverman’s comments breached the board’s code of conduct. The letter highlighted Braverman’s remarks regarding British Pakistani men, whom she claimed, “[H]old different cultural values totally at odds with British values” as they “pursue and outdated and frankly heinous approach in terms of the way they behave.” Braverman’s comments followed shortly after a discussion about gangs of British Pakistani men working for child abuse networks.
The groups reporting Braverman to the BSB condemned Braverman’s comments, stating that this use of “inflammatory language to demonise and dehumanise a vulnerable category of people” can “perpetuate harmful stereotypes and contribute to a climate of hate and prejudice.” They highlighted that, as a legal professional, she should be “held to a high standard of professionalism and ethical conduct.”
The letter concluded by encouraging the BSB to take “swift action” against Braverman, stating that she must be held to account as a legal professional. “It is crucial that members of the legal profession uphold the highest standards of integrity, impartiality, and professionalism. Ms Braverman’s comments are a clear violation of these standards and should not go unchallenged.”
Braverman, who is a qualified barrister in the UK, has not practiced law since 2015, but could be barred from doing so if the BSB takes action against her following these complaints. Braverman is still subject to the board’s professional rules.