Suella Braverman 'turned down meeting with Justin Welby to discuss immigration'

30 September 2023, 14:15

Suella Braverman has avoided a meeting with Justin Welby on immigration
Suella Braverman has avoided a meeting with Justin Welby on immigration. Picture: Alamy

By Kit Heren

Suella Braverman has avoided meeting the Archbishop of Canterbury over his concerns about her stance on immigration.

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The Most Rev Justin Welby has "reached out a number of times" to the Home Secretary's office without securing a meeting with her, according to The House, Parliament's magazine.

A spokesman for the archbishop confirmed the approach to The House.

He said: "The archbishop would be happy to meet the Home Secretary to discuss issues of mutual interest and concern.

"In the past, the archbishop has met other home secretaries. It is not unusual."

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Suella Braverman
Suella Braverman. Picture: Alamy

Ms Braverman's response was seen as a "big slap in the face" by the archbishop and caused "consternation", according to a former senior advisor to the 26 bishops in the House of Lords.

The archbishop met Robert Jenrick, the immigration minister, the Daily Telegraph reported, after an informal approach for a meeting was made.

Mr Welby has been an outspoken critic of the government's migration policy, labelling its proposed legislation "morally unacceptable"

He and other bishops have criticised the government's plan to send migrants to Rwanda and he condemned "harmful rhetoric" about refugees in a House of Lords speech.

Justin Welby wanted to meet Ms Braverman to discuss immigration
Justin Welby wanted to meet Ms Braverman to discuss immigration. Picture: Getty

Mr Welby successfully passed an amendment to a government bill in July that would aim to ensure those who enter the UK illegally are detained and deported back to their country of origin, or Rwanda. His amendment would force the government to formulate a 10-year plan for working with international partners to tackle the refugee crisis.

The archbishop said in May: "This bill has no sense at all of the long term and the global nature of the challenge that the world faces."It ignores the reality that global migration must be engaged with at source as well as in the Channel as if we as a country were unrelated to the rest of the world."

The archbishop added that the bill does not make any effort to tackle issues that are causing mass migration, including wars and climate change.

"It is isolationist, it is morally unacceptable and politically impractical," he said.