Gaza ceasefire vote: Humza Yousaf accuses ‘worst of politicians’ Suella Braverman of stoking 'fires of racial and religious tensions’

The First Minister Humza Yousaf has verbally attacked former home secretary Suella Braverman on social media

Humza Yousaf has taken aim at former home secretary Suella Braverman, accusing her of stoking “the fires of racial and religious tensions for self-serving purposes” in the wake of chaotic scenes at this week’s Gaza ceasefire vote.

Writing in Friday’s Daily Telegraph, Ms Braverman said the events in the House of Commons on Wednesday had “undermined the integrity of Parliament”, adding: “The truth is that the Islamists, the extremists and the anti-Semites are in charge now.”

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Her comment comes with nearly 70 MPs, more than a tenth of the Commons, having signed a motion proposed by senior Conservative William Wragg expressing no confidence in Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle after Wednesday’s SNP Opposition Day vote descended into chaos.

First Minister Humza Yousaf has described Suella Braverman as the 'worst of politicians'First Minister Humza Yousaf has described Suella Braverman as the 'worst of politicians'
First Minister Humza Yousaf has described Suella Braverman as the 'worst of politicians'

Sir Lindsay has come in for intense criticism of his handling of a Gaza ceasefire debate in which he allowed a Labour amendment to be heard in a decision that sidelined a separate SNP proposal.

But Mr Yousaf took to social media to instead attack Ms Braverman, describing her as “the worst of politicians”.

"[Braverman is] an individual who deliberately stokes the fires of racial and religious tensions for self-serving purposes, with no regard to the greater societal damage she is doing,” Mr Yousaf posted on X.

“The very definition of a scorched earth policy. Shameful.”

It comes as home secretary James Cleverly – the minister who replaced Ms Braverman on the portfolio – said he did not “always agree with everything” his predecessor said.

“But it is absolutely the case that we must make sure that we crack down on extremist behaviour, it’s absolutely the case that we must not let our democracy be distorted through fear or intimidation,” he added.

Mr Cleverly separately gave his personal backing to Sir Lindsay despite criticism of his handling of a Gaza ceasefire debate.

The Speaker gained the support of the senior Cabinet minister even as he faced continued pressure to step down.

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Sir Lindsay has apologised for his “mistake” and offered an emergency debate on the Scottish Nationalists’ motion calling for a ceasefire in a bid to calm their fury over their proposal being sidelined.

Mr Cleverly told Sky News on Friday: “I think the Speaker has done a fantastic job. I think he’s been a breath of fresh air compared with his predecessor.

“He made a mistake. He’s apologised for the mistake. My view is that I’m supportive of him.”

Mr Cleverly stressed it was his personal view because the selection of the Speaker was “House business” rather than for government ministers to decide.

Rishi Sunak reiterated his view that Sir Lindsay’s choice over the Gaza debate was “concerning”, but suggested he was willing to draw a line under the episode by pointing to the Speaker’s apology.

During a visit to North Wales on Friday, the Prime Minister told reporters: “What happened in Parliament earlier this week was concerning. The usual ways in which Parliament works, the usual processes which govern how Parliament works, were changed.

“Now, the Speaker subsequently apologised for that and said that he made the wrong decision.”

Sir Lindsay’s explanation that he was motivated by concerns about MPs’ security has sparked further debate about the impact of threats and intimidation around the work of Parliament.

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Mr Sunak on Thursday warned that it was a “slippery slope” to let “extremists intimidate us into changing the way in which Parliament works”.

Mr Cleverly echoed that by saying: “Members of Parliament and indeed elected officials through all layers of Government have got to act without fear or favour.”

If further signatures are added to Mr Wragg’s motion, Sir Lindsay will face additional pressure to go.

There is no formal procedure for removing a speaker, but in 2009 Michael Martin resigned from the post after it became clear he had lost the confidence of MPs across the Commons.

Some Conservatives have been reluctant to blame the Speaker for Wednesday’s events, instead pointing the finger at Sir Keir Starmer.

The Labour leader has denied suggestions he pressured Sir Lindsay into selecting a Labour amendment to the SNP motion in a bid to avert a potential rebellion by Labour MPs.

Sir Keir insisted he “simply urged” him to have “the broadest possible debate” by putting a number of options in front of MPs.



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