Tory minister erupts at QT panel in furious row over Braverman: ‘It’s boring!…

Question Time: Tory minister says ministerial code argument is ‘boring’

Rows over who signed off Suella Braverman’s explosive attack on the Metropolitan Police are “boring”, a Tory MP declared in an angry clash on Question Time.

Welsh Secretary David TC Davies slammed Labour and Plaid Cymru politicians for making political points when Home Secretary Suella Braverman was warning “Jewish people are, at the moment, feeling unsafe”.

But Mrs Braverman has been under fire after she wrote a bombshell article apparently without Mr Sunak’s permission accusing the police of “playing favourites” by allowing pro-Palestine marches to go ahead.

Mr Davies criticised Labour MP Chris Bryant and Plaid Cymru leader Liz Saville Roberts for obsessing over interpretations of the ministerial code, insisting the Question Time programme should instead be focusing on the horrific war in the Middle East and the impact of protests on Britain’s communities ahead of Armistice Day on Saturday.

Questioned over whether his Cabinet colleague had broken the code, he said: “I’ve read it, it’s a great big, long legal document and I can’t start interpreting whether it’s [a breach of the Ministerial code].

“What I do support Suella on is saying is that those marches need to be a bit more respectful than they have been. That’s the real issue here.”

When Plaid Cymru leader Liz Saville Roberts said: “The ministerial code matters, you can’t just dismiss it”, Mr Davies hit back: “I’m not dismissing it.

“Which paragraph of the ministerial code is it? You don’t know, I don’t know.”

He added: “The argument is whether or not every single thing that you ever say or write has to be signed off. It’s a rather boring argument. I don’t know why we are discussing it with all that is going on in the Middle East and we’ve got protests and you’re talking about interpreting the ministerial code”.

Mr Davies also said of the Prime Minister he “can’t possibly clear everything I say and do”.

He added: “The bureaucracy around how things get signed off is lost on most people.”

Downing Street was investigating how the article containing an inflammatory comparison between “pro-Palestinian mobs” and marches in Northern Ireland was still sent to the Times for publication.

Conservatives expressed unease over the article as Opposition figures urged Mr Sunak to sack Mrs Braverman, who claimed the protesters are “largely ignored” by officers “even when clearly breaking the law”.

Mrs Braverman had already called the demonstrations attended by thousands “hate marches” ahead of another rally in London coinciding with Armistice Day, despite Government objections.

It is understood that the article was submitted to Downing Street, but did not get signed off as significant alterations were requested. The piece was published nonetheless.

“The content was not agreed by No 10,” the Mr Sunak’s spokesman said. “The Prime Minister continues to believe that the police will operate without fear or favour.”

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Mr Davies told the Question Time panel: “Before Israel had even responded to the outrageous terrorist attack by Hamas, there were people out on the streets in London apparently celebrating the worst attack on Jewish people since the end of the Second World War.

“There didn’t seem to be much policing there.

“But the end of the day the Home Secretary wants what all of us want – which is a calm day on Armistice Day.

“She does not want to see the sorts of scenes that we saw in parts of in parts of London.

“And we’re getting there because the organisers of the march have now said that they will not march anywhere near the Cenotaph, they have said they will go off at a different time. I would like to think that because of the discussions that have taken place, what we will see will be more reasonable.”

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