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HomeHeadline newsBaroness Warsi wants politicians to end ‘divisive and racist rhetoric’

Baroness Warsi wants politicians to end ‘divisive and racist rhetoric’

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Baroness Sayeeda Warsi has called on politicians to stop “spiralling down gutter politics” which she said was leading to hate and division in communities.

The former chairperson of the Conservative party said the problem was widespread, pointing to home secretary Suella Braverman’s recent inflammatory rhetoric on immigration and child sexual abuse, as well as Labour’s attack on prime minister Rishi Sunak through a series of controversial posters.

“I called out the Labour party earlier this week when I said just because we Conservatives have descended into the gutter with Suella Braverman doesn’t mean you’ve got to join us,” Warsi told Eastern Eye.

“Once you start spiralling down, when we use gutter politics, and then they use gutter politics, we reduce the quality of political debate.

“I call on them (Labour), as I call on my own party to raise the political debate, to stop this divisive rhetoric and to focus on the big problems of our time, which require grown-up solutions,” the peer said.

The home secretary has been accused of pandering to right-wing racists and putting south Asian lives in danger by claiming networks of grooming gangs of child rapists were “overwhelmingly” made up of British Pakistani men, even though a Home Office report concluded that the majority of child sex abusers were white.

Warsi said a series of letters sent by dozens of medical bodies, businesses and Muslim community organisations to the prime minister regarding the home secretary’s comments was a clear signal of the worries communities were feeling.

In the letters, Sunak is urged to “separate himself” from Braverman, whose “irresponsible and divisive rhetoric” was “demonising an entire community and lending credibility to far-right narratives”.

“If you look at the medical professionals’ letter, it’s signed by British Indians, British Kenyans, British Ghanaians, British Egyptians. This is such a broad coalition of people. These are not letters from the Pakistani community or the Muslim community,” said Warsi.

“You have surgeons, doctors, psychiatrists, nurses, entrepreneurs, business leaders – the kind of people who would not normally engage in politics – but who probably traditionally would vote Conservative, coming together, because they are deeply disturbed and fearful of her language, which is causing division,” she said.

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