‘Born to migrant parents’: Braverman’s Delhi uncle urges her to be cautious
Ayres Fernandes, a Catholic priest who grew up in Kenya with 4 siblings, including Braverman’s father Christie Fernandes, is believed to be estranged from him
A Delhi-based uncle of UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman has cautioned his niece about her language around immigration and urged her not to forget that she herself is a child of migrants.
According to a report in The Times on Saturday, Father Ayres Fernandes told the newspaper from India that he understands the need to clamp down on illegal immigration.
However, the director of a retreat centre said there was a need for more compassion towards refugees and asylum seekers.
“I only pray that she remembers that she herself was born to migrant parents, and, therefore, she needs to be a little cautious when making such comments,” said Fernandes.
The Catholic priest, who grew up in Kenya with his four siblings, including Braverman’s father, Christie Fernandes, is believed to be estranged from his brother.
Formerly a director at the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India, the 73-year-old told the British daily that he and another family member had discussed Braverman’s political posturing with a relative.
They speculated her hardline approach may be due to her being backed by Conservative Party right-wingers.
“She’s quite strong by herself, that much I know, she has her own thinking. But I believe that there is somebody backing her up to make such comments,” he said.
“But being a minister, holding such a position, maybe she should be a little cautious,” he added.
The remarks come after Braverman’s Tory conference speech in Manchester earlier this week attracted criticism from within her own party ranks.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak refused to back her statement about a "hurricane" of migrants.
“The wind of change that carried my own parents across the globe in the 20th century was a mere gust compared to the hurricane that is coming,” Braverman told the party meeting.
Calm down, please
Braverman also said earlier that "uncontrolled immigration, inadequate integration, and a misguided dogma of multiculturalism have proven a toxic combination for Europe” and that “multiculturalism has failed”.
The Delhi uncle was quoted as saying: “I learned you need to change, you need to adjust, you need to give space to people and their way of life and opinions. And in politics that is very important — to be able to be open to others and others’ views and opinions.
“I pray for her every day that she may be able to calm down and relate with people in a better manner,” he said.
(With agency inputs)