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Braverman in or out?

This is going to be the big question that haunts Rishi Sunak this weekend following episode 5000 of his Home Secretary Suella Braverman crossing the line of moral decency.

Braverman wrote a column for The Times in which she accused the Metropolitan Police of political bias, suggesting they played “favourites with protesters” ahead of pro-Palestinian marches this weekend.

Not only that, she angered just about everyone across the Irish Sea when she used Northern Ireland as a point of comparison when speaking of these “hate marches”.

She said: “They are an assertion of primacy by certain groups – particularly Islamists – of the kind we are more used to seeing in Northern Ireland.

“Also disturbingly reminiscent of Ulster are the reports that some of Saturday’s march group organisers have links to terrorist groups, including Hamas.”

READ MORE: Scottish Muslim charity 'strongly condemns' Douglas Murray comments about Humza Yousaf

Sinn Fein president Mary Lou McDonald said it showed the UK Government was “at sea and ignorant” on Irish affairs.

And to continue the theme of ignorance, it emerged afterwards that Braverman had not had the column signed off by Number 10. She reportedly chose to turn a blind eye to suggested changes from her bosses and ploughed on with an agenda her colleagues are becoming increasingly tired of.

An internal inquiry is going on into the details of the Times piece and Braverman’s fate very much hangs in the balance. She has tested Sunak’s patience on many occasions and there is a sense this is a huge moment for him to either stamp his authority or simply stare down the barrel of election defeat.

‘Insipid’ King’s Speech

The words of SNP MP Pete Wishart were some of the most illustrative of how Scots felt about the King’s Speech on Tuesday. It contained very little for those of north of the Border to be excited about.

Among the pomp and splendour at the Palace of Westminster - which was met with hundreds of republican protesters – the unelected King Charles told us in the unelected House of Lords on behalf of the unelected PM that annual licensing rounds would be held for oil and gas extraction in the North Sea.

The National: King Charles gave the King's Speech at the State Opening of Parliament on Tuesday

Alongside an announcement about a “transport revolution” headed up by self-driving cars, everyone from climate activists to those trying to heat their homes during a cost of living crisis was left feeling ignored.

At least SNP MP Steven Bonnar – who opted not to attend the speech - was able to make some light of the situation when he told The National’s Holyrood Weekly podcast he’d rather keep the Commons door shut when Black Rod has it slammed in her face in a two-fingers comeback to some of the bizarre archaic traditions.

Johnson and his ‘feral’ team

The UK Covid-19 Inquiry is still ongoing and outrageous comments from Boris Johnson and his team during the crisis continue to dominate the headlines.

Not only did Johnson consider injecting himself with Covid on TV to show it did not pose a threat, it was confirmed he did indeed say later on that he would rather “let the bodies pile high” than impose a second lockdown.

This was first reported more than two years ago but ministers including Michael Gove said at the time it was not true.

READ MORE: Gaza at breaking point: ‘We need your interventions now’

In a statement to the inquiry, Johnson’s former chief of staff Lord Edward Udny-Lister said he recalled Johnson saying it, branding it an “unfortunate turn of phrase” when the government was trying to avoid a further lockdown.

SNP president Mike Russell also called out Udny-Lister for saying Scotland “always wanted” to implement different Covid rules to England.

Meanwhile, former cabinet secretary Simon Case said in private messages he had “never seen a bunch of people less well-equipped to run a country” and compared working with them to “taming wild animals”.

He added Johnson and his inner circle were “basically feral” while Mark Sedwill – the UK’s most senior civil servant during the pandemic - complained that Johnson’s administration was “brutal and useless”.


There has been no movement at Westminster in the UK Government or the main opposition calling for a ceasefire in the Middle East. The SNP have filed an amendment to the King’s Speech calling for a vote on it, but it has been reported Labour MPs are being told to vote against it. Labour frontbencher Imran Hussain resigned from his role as shadow minister for the new deal for working people over Starmer’s continued refusal to call for a ceasefire.