Nick Robinson blasts Braverman a 'headline grabber' who 'spreads poison' as she hits back 'I'm honest!' in fiery clash

Nick Robinson blasts Braverman a 'headline grabber' who 'spreads poison' as she hits back 'I'm honest!' in fiery clash

WATCH NOW: Nick Robinson brands Braverman a 'headline grabber'

Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 07/12/2023

- 10:41

Updated: 07/12/2023

- 12:02

The former Home Secretary was speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme

Suella Braverman faced a grilling from the BBC's Nick Robinson on Thursday morning less than 24 hours after she warned the Tory Party faces "electoral oblivion" if its Rwanda bill fails.

The former Home Secretary, who was sacked last month and replaced by James Cleverly, has been vocal in her criticism of prime minister Rishi Sunak and the Conservative's approach to stopping the boats.

She isn't the only MP who's caused Sunak a headache over his Rwanda plans as immigration minister Robert Jenrick resigned on Wednesday after claiming the government's emergency Rwanda legislation "does not go far enough".

Following her no-holds-barred speech in the House of Commons during PMQs on Wednesday, Braverman joined the BBC's Robinson to explain why she felt more needed to be done when it came to immigration and stopping boats crossing the Channel.

But Robinson appeared to take issue with the language Braverman has previously used to outline her stance, as in an impassioned monologue, he said to the former Home Sec: "You talk about substance, you talk quite reasonably when I ask you questions about tough language, you sort of laugh at me as if I'm the one talking about a Conservative death wish.

"You've condemned the leader of your Party (as) 'uncertain, weak and lacking in leadership', you said he never had any intention of keeping his promises. You accused him of betrayal and wishful thinking.

Nick Robinson

Nick Robinson grilled Braverman on Radio 4


"You’ve attacked lawyers, judges, civil servants, the head of the Met Police (and) people worried about deaths in Gaza.

"You've attacked the homeless, you've attacked migrants as being part of an invasion.

"Isn’t the truth you’re a headline grabber who does it by spreading poison even within your own Party?"

Braverman took a moment before she replied: "The truth is when I sat as Home Secretary I sought to be honest. Honest to the British people and honest for the British people and sometimes honesty is uncomfortable.

"But I'm not going to shy away from telling people how it is and for plain speaking. If that upsets polite society I'm sorry about that...

"But the point is we need to be honest, we need to be clear-eyed about this situation right now.

"We can't keep failing the British people. We have made promise after promise, put forward plan after plan - they have all failed. And now we have run out of time.

"This is an issue of huge importance to the majority of British people who desperately want us to fix it.

"We need to be honest about that and only if we're honest will we have a chance of properly fixing it," Braverman added.

Robinson replied that Braverman was making it "all about you", which she refuted before referring to her statement in parliament on Wednesday.

Clips from the interview and the on-air clash in question have since gone viral on X, formerly Twitter, with many viewers taking issue with Robinson's line of questioning.

He too took the platform to address the debate and defend his probes with a lengthy post of his own in which he claimed: "This argument is not just about policy, it is a personal battle about who controls the Conservative Party and whether there is another - yes, another - Tory leadership election.

"Suella Braverman always uses broadcast interviews to insist she only wants to talk about policy and not personalities.

"This is why I thought it right and fair this morning to ask her to respond to what so many of her critics believe - namely that she is a headline chaser who spreads poison about those she disagrees with in her party, lawyers, the courts, the police, civil servants, migrants, the homeless and those who protest against civilian deaths in Gaza.

"I suspect she will not worry one little bit about being challenged about views and language which she believes out her in the same side as many voters - inside the Conservative parliamentary party as well as outside it."

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