MONMOUTH MP and Welsh Secretary David Davies told Question Time’s millions of viewers that the row over Suella Braverman’s criticism of pro-Palestine and ceasefire marchers and their policing was ‘boring’.
Mr Davies said politicians shouldn’t be focusing on whether the ministerial code had been broken by the then Home Secretary in a controversial article in The Times, claiming that she was saying: “Jewish people are, at the moment, feeling unsafe.”
In the run-up to Saturday’s marches on Armistice Day, which saw more than 300,000 protest largely peacefully through London, Braverman - whose husband is Jewish - blasted protests as ‘hate marches’ that shouldn’t be allowed to go ahead.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley refused to back down though, allowing the huge protest, despite threats from PM Rishi Sunak that he would be held accountable for any violence.
In the event, police said the bulk of around 145 arrests on Saturday were drunken “football hooligans’, who were involved in “confronting and attacking police” who were preventing them from confronting the main march.
Some arrests were also made when a group of 150 wearing face coverings broke away from the main march and lit fireworks.
Prior to the protest, Mr Davies insisted on Question Time that the programme should be focusing on the horrific war in the Middle East and the impact of the protests on Britain’s communities ahead of Armistice Day.
Questioned over whether his then Cabinet colleague had broken the ministerial 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 that those marches need to be a bit more respectful than they have been. That’s the real issue here.”
Plaid leader Liz Saville Roberts hit back, saying: “The ministerial code matters, you can’t just dismiss it”, before Mr Davies responded: “I’m not dismissing it.
“Which paragraph of the ministerial code is it? You don’t know, I don’t know...
“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.”
And he added: “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 at 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 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.”
While many said marching to call for a ceasefire in Gaza, where 11,000 have reportedly died in Israeli attacks since Hamas massacred some 1,200 victims, was appropriate for Armistice Day,
Braverman claimed ‘pro-Palestine’ protesters had been “largely ignored” by police “even when clearly breaking the law”.
After Saturday’s protest and her attendance at Sunday’s Cenotaph Remembrance service, the Home Secretary doubled down, slamming alleged ‘sick’ and ‘clearly criminal’ anti-semitic hate chants, and saying “this can’t go on”.
But on Monday, Mr Sunak pulled the plug on the controversial minister, making way for David Cameron’s dramatic return to frontline politics as Foreign Secretary.