SCOTLAND’s first refugee councillor has attacked Suella Braverman for having “no compassion” following an extreme speech in which Home Secretary claimed “multiculturalism has failed”.

Roza Salih, who fled Iraq with her family as a young girl, said the Tory minister “does not understand what it means to be a refugee”.

In the speech in Washington on Tuesday, which provoked a huge backlash including condemnation from the UN refugee agency, Braverman branded illegal migration an “existential challenge” and refused to rule out the UK leaving the United Nations’ Refugee Convention.

She was also attacked for her assertion that being gay or a woman and “fearful of discrimination” in a country should not be enough to qualify for protection under the asylum system.

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Singer Sir Elton John warned that she risked “further legitimising hate and violence” against LGBT+ people.

During the speech, Braverman also contrasted her parents – who came from Kenya and Mauritius – migrating to the UK “lawfully” with those who “are coming here gaming the system”.

Salih told The National: “It has been clear for a long time that Suella Braverman has no compassion and does not understand what it means to be a refugee.

“She always refers to her family entering the UK legally – this means those who are poor and make the dangerous journeys are not. She likes to shut the door behind her so others are not given the same opportunities she has enjoyed.

“This example is dangerous and now her Government does not even provide legal routes for refugees which she proudly refers when talking about her own family.”

The National:

Salih also said that Braverman (above) stated multiculturalism had failed – but that it was the asylum system which was failing people who wanted to make the UK their new home, as they are not allowed equal opportunities such as the right to work.

She added: “[Braverman’s] Government’s aim is to create a hostile environment for migrants and refugees.

“They have been attacking the refugee and migrant communities instead of fixing the problems in our immigration system.

“They believe this appeals to the voters to blame the others for their wrongdoing instead of reforming the system which they have had the powers to do so.”

Salih and her family fled Iraq in 2001 after her grandfather and her uncle were killed.

At the age of 15, she co-founded the Glasgow Girls group to campaign against the detention and deportation of one of their friends by the Home Office.

She was elected as an SNP councillor for Greater Pollok last year and recently passed vetting for the party’s list of Westminster candidates.

READ MORE: Suella Braverman comments condemned by UN refugee agency

Meanwhile Braverman’s address is being seen by some as an early leadership pitch by the senior Cabinet minister, who is a favourite of some MPs on the right of the party for her tough stance on illegal migration.

She received the backing of Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer, who declined to commit to keeping the UK in the United Nations Refugee Convention.

Pressed repeatedly, the Culture Secretary told Sky News: “I think that those conventions are really important, but I do think that it is … what she was talking about is whether those sorts of conventions should be reformed."

When it was put to Frazer that her great grandparents came to the UK as immigrants in an interview on Times Radio, she said: “They came because they were fleeing persecution in other countries and they integrated into our society.

“I think what she is talking about is the scale of immigration.”