'Think very carefully': Keir Starmer warns PM about Suella Braverman

8 November 2023, 11:15

Rishi Sunak and Suella Braverman were confronted during a debate over the controversial comments
Rishi Sunak and Suella Braverman were confronted during a debate over the controversial comments. Picture: UK Government

By Asher McShane

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer warned the Prime Minister to "think very carefully" about his Home Secretary Suella Braverman, after she made controversial comments about homelessness.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Suella Braverman referred to rough sleeping "a lifestyle choice" while setting out plans to crack down on the use of tents.

"I work closely with the police and counter terrorism forces" Sir Keir Starmer said to Rishi Sunak, who appeared visibly uncomfortable while sitting next to the Home Secretary during a debate in the House of Commons.

The Prime Minister also insisted Ms Braverman is focused on the public's priorities when asked if he felt she was undermining him.

Despite expectations that proposals from Ms Braverman to ban charities from handing out tents to the homeless might have been included in the King's Speech on Tuesday, there was no mention of them.

Downing Street sources said they were still "undergoing scrutiny".

On Wednesday, on a visit to a school in Lincolnshire, Mr Sunak was asked if there will be a restriction on tents involved in the Criminal Justice Bill.

He told reporters: "I don't want anyone to have to sleep rough and I'm proud of the Government's track record over the past few years in tackling that."

He said police should have the power to deal with "intimidating or violent conduct".

He said: "We said earlier in the year that we didn't want anyone to be criminalised for not having somewhere to live and that's why we were going to repeal something called the Vagrancy Act, which is an outdated piece of law from the 1800s, and at the same time as part of that plan we want to make sure that intimidating or violent conduct, that the police do have the powers to tackle that."

Mr Sunak again refused to repeat Ms Braverman's remarks and did not directly say he agreed with them.

Asked if he felt Ms Braverman was supporting or undermining him, the PM said: "What the Home Secretary and the Government is doing is focus on people's priorities."

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Boris Johnson met by protesters and families of the bereaved as he arrives to give evidence at the Covid Inquiry

Boris Johnson arrives at Covid inquiry where he will apologise for government mistakes but insist he got big calls right

People wait to be treated

Gaza civilians have few places to seek safety as fighting halts aid delivery

Live
Boris Johnson has arrived to give evidence.

Live: Boris Johnson faces questions at the Covid inquiry

Police at the scene of the shooting in Vine Close, Hackney today and (R) forensics officers at the scene last night

Girl ‘screamed her mum was shot in the head’: Horror of neighbours as mother-of-two, 42, shot dead in Hackney

Andreea Pintilli, 29, has been identified as the woman stabbed in Aberfan

Pictured: Heavily pregnant mother, 29, stabbed in ‘targeted’ attack in Aberfan as man, 28 arrested after manhunt

Bus wreckage

At least 16 people killed as bus crashed into ravine

Rolex Rippers are using more violence with stolen watches safer and more lucrative to sell than drugs

Rolex Rippers are using more violence with stolen watches safer and more lucrative to sell than drugs

Tower Gardens in Skegness, Lincolnshire, where the alleged rape took place

Woman 'raped' in park by man who told her he was an 'illegal' and giving her 'vial' of liquid, court told

Biden

Joe Biden says he is only running for re-election to stop Donald Trump return

APTOPIX Indonesia Volcano Eruption

Rescuers find body of final missing climber after volcanic eruption

COP28 Climate Hot November

November breaks heat record for sixth straight month

Horizon Air Cockpit Emergency

Attempted murder charges dropped against pilot who tried to cut engines

Biden

President Biden calls on world to condemn sex attacks by Hamas

A new study has revealed the impact of 'shrinkflation'.

Festive faves hit by ‘shrinkflation’ as shoppers show how Christmas treats have declined in size over the years

Rishi Sunak is hoping to appease the 'vast majority' of Tory MPs with the new legislation.

Sunak to ‘cut through middle’ on Rwanda plan in bid to appease ‘majority’ of Tory MPs as ministers threaten to quit

Mr Johnson is expected to apologise to the Covid Inquiry and acknowledge the government did not get everything right during the pandemic.

Boris Johnson to tell Covid Inquiry he 'delayed first lockdown based on Chris Whitty's advice'