Suella Braverman blasted over migrant comments by Albanian MP - 'I felt threatened'

Suella Braverman blasted over migrant comments by Albanian MP - 'I felt threatened'

Jorida Tabaku has criticised Suella Braverman

GB News
Ben Chapman

By Ben Chapman


Published: 23/03/2023

- 15:42

The Home Secretary has repeatedly called for tough action on asylum seekers crossing the Channel

Suella Braverman is facing scrutiny from an Albanian MP over her comments relating to migrants.

The Home Secretary has repeatedly called for tough action on asylum seekers crossing the Channel with the aim of setting up a new life in the UK.


Braverman previously referred to “Albanian criminals” helping migrants cross the Channel during a debate in the Commons last year, sparking a row.

Speaking on GB News, Albanian MP Jorida Tabaku criticised the UK Home Secretary for “singling out” the community of the eastern European nation.

Jorida Tabaku and Suella Braverman

Suella Braverman is facing criticism over her comments about migrants

GB News / Parliament

She said: “I have been studying the UK, and as an Albanian I felt really threatened by her comments.

“As a politician, I felt sorry that the amazing Albanian community was being singled out, attacked, bullied only because there was a problem.

“We have to acknowledge that there is a problem that has to be dealt with both ways.

“There is a problem in the UK with the system that exists there, but also in Albania there is a problem because people are leaving.

Suella Braverman

Suella Braverman has previously made reference to Albanian 'criminals'

PA

“The higher the rate of people leaving should make us politicians in Albania understand that it must be dealt with internally and not only leave the fault on the UK’s side.”

It comes as the Albanian Prime Minister, Edi Rama, scolded the Home Secretary ahead of a meeting with his counterpart Rishi Sunak, describing her behaviour as “disgraceful”.

Speaking to the BBC, he said: “Unfortunately we have seen ourselves and our community being singled out in this country for the purposes of politics.

“It has been a very, very disgraceful moment for British politics.

“What has been spoke about by members of the Cabinet, starting with the Home Secretary, and then I mean what exactly has been developing as the singling out of our community, which is not something you do in our civilisation and is something that does not represent Britain at all.

“This has been a very low point in our relations but there is a will to overcome it.”

Questioned over whether Braverman’s comments had been taken the wrong way, Tabaku says the Home Secretary has kept up the same narrative for a prolonged period.

She told Mark Longhurst: “It has been going on for months and she has been repeating this several times.

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama

Albanian PM Edi Rama has criticised the Home Secretary

PA

“It is true that there are Albanians linked to organised crime but these are a minority of a minority.

“The majority of Albanians there, there is a huge community of 200,000 Albanians, are doing pretty well.

“We have students there, we have business owners and entrepreneurs. The minority of the minority does not represent the best of our country.

“These comments were repeated several times and I was happy to see the British Prime Minister say he was sorry that this was taken as a case.”

No 10 has insisted that it would talk about migrants from Albanian in a “factual, fair and compassionate” way.

Sunak's official spokesman said: "I think we will obviously continue to make sure that we talk about this in a way that is factual, fair and compassionate. And that's the tone you've heard from the Prime Minister throughout this.

"We are first and foremost seeking to stop vulnerable people making dangerous journeys which have seen people lose their lives."

He added: "We do value the Albanian community in the UK and welcome any Albanians who travel to the UK legally and contribute to British society.

"However, the reality is that we are currently seeing large numbers of Albanian nationals risking their lives to make dangerous and illegal journeys to the UK and that places strain on the asylum system."

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