Braverman had no evidence for ‘fake gay asylum seekers’ claim

16 November 2023: Open Democracy: Braverman had no evidence for ‘fake gay asylum seekers’ claim

Home Office forced to admit it held no information to support allegation made by then home secretary

Suella Braverman had no evidence for her claim that “many” people pretend to be gay in order to “game” the UK asylum system, the Home Office has been forced to admit.

The sacked former home secretary made the allegation in September as she sought to shore up support for her flagship policy of deporting asylum seekers to Rwanda. The plan was deemed unlawful in the Supreme Court earlier today in a rare reprieve for hundreds of people who had been threatened with offshoring before their claims were decided.

Braverman, a former attorney general, told ITV’s Anushka Asthana on 27 September: “People do game the system. They come to the UK. They purport to be homosexual in the effort to game our system – in the effort to get special treatment – and it’s not fair and it’s not right… I’m afraid we do see many instances where people purport to be gay when they’re not actually gay.”

Asked by openDemocracy for the evidence behind the then home secretary’s statement, her former department admitted it could not find any relevant information.

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