“Senior police officers, who allow this to happen, can expect to have to explain to me why they’re spending vital resources on politically correct campaigns”
BY FAY BARRETT, IMAGE VIA UK PARLIAMENT
A week that started with Suella Braverman reprimanding Police, over a tweet about reporting hate crimes, has ended with her resigning as Home Secretary, after just 43 days in the job. She has been replaced by former transport secretary Grant Shapps.
The two incidents aren’t related. The Independent reported that “the immediate cause of the resignation was the breach of security rules after Ms Braverman admitted inadvertently sending a sensitive document from her personal email”.
However, it is unlikely many within the LGBTQIA community will mourn Braverman’s departure.
She has made multiple anti-trans comments over the past months.
In May, The Guardian ran an article about advice school leaders received from Braverman (then the attorney general) telling them to “take a much firmer line” with pupils who identify as transgender.
The Times reported Braverman as saying “schools are under no legal obligation to address children by a new pronoun or allow them to wear the school uniform of a different gender”.
The Times piece also said Braverman considers JK Rowling to be her “heroine”.
This week, PinkNews carried a report that Braverman, attacked “police for encouraging trans people to report hate crimes”. The report also states that she “believes there is a ‘collective frenzy’ over trans rights in the UK”.
The report focused on a tweet, sent out on 10 October by Leicestershire Police, in support of National Hate Crime Awareness Week.
The tweet, part of the Stamp It Out campaign, featured a stock photo of a trans woman with
“I get called by my previous male name on purpose, but that’s not who I am. It can be really
hurtful, especially when just seen as a joke.”
This was accompanied with instructions on how to report a hate crime.
Braverman responded, on 16 October, with a tweet saying “This week I have seen confusion amongst police forces about what constitutes a ‘hate crime’.
“The police need to enforce actual laws and fight actual crimes. Freedom of speech must be
protected, and a proportionate approach must be taken.
“The public need to have confidence in their police forces. This sort of thing undermines it. “Senior police officers, who allow this to happen, can expect to have to explain to me why they’re spending vital resources on politically correct campaigns.”
Following Braverman’s response, Leicestershire Police deleted the tweet. The PinkNews article quotes from a statement where Leicestershire Police’s Temporary Chief Constable, Rob Nixon, apologised for any “upset”.
He recognised people have “strong and often conflicting views” but pressed “the seriousness of hate crime and the devastating crimes that, as a country, we have seen in the past which have happened as a result”.
“Hate crimes are acts of violence or hostility directed at people because of who they are,” he said.
The question is, what will the new Home Secretary’s stance on LGBTQIA rights be? During the Conservative leadership race, Shapps was asked, “Are trans men, men and are trans women, women?” by Sky News.
Shapps said he wouldn’t “be spending most of “his time on “these kinds of issues” should he become prime minister. “I think we owe everybody love and respect. People should be able to get on and live their lives. There’s clearly a biological basis on your birth but if people want to… transition gender, that is their choice and they will always have my support,” he said.
You can read our report, released during the Conservative leadership race, about all candidate’s track records with LGBTQIA rights, here.
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