Police aren’t paid to ‘dance with drag queens’, says Suella Braverman in attack on ‘woke’ policing

Police officials are not paid to “dance with drag queens” or “wave flags”, Suella Braverman has said in her latest attack on so-called “woke” policing.

The home secretary’s remarks, which appeared to criticise the way officers policed LGBT+ Pride events, came after she ordered a review into “political activism in police” earlier this month.

Ms Braverman told the Commons that chief constables and elected police and crime commissioners (PCCs) should focus on “cutting crime and rebuilding confidence – not playing politics”.

Responding to a question from right-wing Conservative MP Nick Fletcher, who said police would solve more crimes “if they started putting more bobbies on the beat and stopped promoting unscientific ideologies”.

Ms Braverman responded: “My honourable friend is quite right. We pay the police to fight crime. Whether that’s a focus on anti-social behaviour, the nuisance bikers or burglaries, as he’s mentioned.”

She added: “They are there to keep people safe. We do not pay them to wave flags at parades, to dance with drag queens or to campaign.”

Ms Braverman said her dislike of such woke activities was when she “finally ended all association with Stonewall at the Home Office” and “why I expect all PCCs and chief constables to focus on cutting crime and rebuilding confidence, not playing politics”.

The home secretary raised eyebrows during her Commons appearance by saying there is a “strong case” for China to be described as a threat to the UK’s national security.

Ms Braverman said that the government is considering placing Beijing in the “enhanced” tier of the Foreign Influence Registration Scheme (FIRS) under the new National Security Act.

Such a move would place stricter measures on Chinese agents and effectively categorise Beijing as a hostile state, following the arrest of a parliamentary researcher for alleged espionage on China’s behalf.

“We are currently reviewing the countries that should go on to the enhanced tier of FIRS,” she said. “I think there is a strong case to be made for China being put into that, but I won’t... I don’t want to prejudice the process by which those determinations will be made.”

Some Tory MPs now pushing Rishi Sunak to take a stronger stance and to label China a “threat”. But Ms Braverman’s comments echoed the ones made by Deputy PM Oliver Dowden last week, who also said there was a “strong case” for China to be added to the enhanced tier of FIRS.