Hunt distances himself from Braverman as pressure mounts on PM to fire her | Suella Braverman

Jeremy Hunt has become the most senior member of the government to distance himself from Suella Braverman, as pressure continues to mount on the prime minister to sack his embattled home secretary.

The chancellor said he would not have used the type of inflammatory language used by Braverman. in an article this week in the Times, in which he argued that the police were biased in the way they handle different protests.

Braverman has been accused of undermining the independence of the Metropolitan Police, Britain’s largest force, by urging it to ban a pro-Palestinian march due to take place in central London on Saturday.

Hunt said: “As many other cabinet ministers have said, the words she used are not words I would have used myself.

“But I have a productive relationship with her as a colleague and have always given her the money she needs to fund the police, reduce crime and fund the immigration and asylum system.”

Hunt’s comments add to a tumultuous week for the Home Secretary, who faces growing criticism over her language on policing and homelessness, which she has separately described as a “lifestyle choice.” .

Suella Braverman outside 10 Downing Street last month. Photograph: Hannah McKay/Reuters

Downing Street said on Thursday it was investigating how Braverman came to publish his article – in which he compared pro-Palestinian protesters to protesters in Northern Ireland – without incorporating the major changes demanded by No 10.

A spokesman for Rishi Sunak said on Thursday that the prime minister remained confident in his home secretary, although he was reported to be considering a formal investigation into whether she breached the ministerial code.

Some in the Conservatie party believe Sunak will leave Braverman in place over the weekend in case violence breaks out during Saturday’s protests, but will remove her in a reshuffle that could take place as early as next week.

As Sunak considers his fate, a growing number of ministers are distancing themselves from his language or openly criticizing him.

When asked by LBC whether he would have written an article without obtaining permission from the Prime Minister, Education Minister Robert Halfon said: “No, I wouldn’t. “Anything you do in terms of articles or speeches, of course, must be approved by No. 10.”

Separately, Halfon told the BBC that the decision on whether Braverman should remain in his position was up to “the Prime Minister”, adding: “It is well beyond my pay grade in terms of who is in what position in his cabinet”.

He also rejected the argument that Saturday’s protest constituted a “hate march” and should be banned. “I absolutely respect people’s right to protest and the majority of people at those marches are impartial,” he said.

“But there is an element – a significant element – in those marches, and it is the extremists, the people who have been shouting jihad and other slogans that have caused unrest.”

Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, MP for the Cotswolds, suggested on Friday that the Prime Minister may have to sack Braverman.

“I think he will certainly want to have a very serious conversation with her to ask her to commit to handling the matter in a more calm and private manner in the future or possibly consider that it is time for her to move on to another cabinet position.” ”She told the BBC. “I don’t think we can continue as we are.”

Braverman’s allies, however, have fought back, insisting that his views were shared by the general public and that he should be allowed to remain in office.

Miriam Cates, MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge, said: “Nor does 10 [have] trust in Suella or not. They said yes, so she should be allowed to continue her work.”

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