Board hits back at home secretary’s criticism of its stance on illegal migration

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Board hits back at home secretary’s criticism of its stance on illegal migration

Suella Braverman claimed it was not “prudent” of its president Marie van der Zyl to issue a statement raising legal concerns about her controverisal bill

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Suella Braverman addresses the CST dinner
Suella Braverman addresses the CST dinner

Board of Deputies president Marie van der Zyl has hit back at the home secretary’s criticism of her decision to raise concerns about her controversial illegal migration policy. 

Suella Braverman had used a speech at Wednesday’s Community Security Trust dinner to claim it was not “prudent” of the Board to issue a statement raising legal concerns about her illegal migration bill.

In a statement on Thursday the Board president said:“We regret that this announcement was made alongside criticism clearly aimed at our organisation.

Marie van der Zyl

“The Board has a long record of praising successive Governments for positive measures aimed at our community.

There will, however, be times where we feel the need to express concern at policy proposals which are understandably of importance to British Jews. “We feel fortunate to live in a country with a political system where it is possible to do both.”

In further criticism of the Home Secretary, Van der Zyl also appeared to confirm the suggestion that she had requested meetings with Braverman to raise concerns about her immigration policies, before the Board released their statement on March 8th.

Jewish News had earlier  reported that Van der Zyl had written to Braverman in December 2022 and in February this year requesting a meeting.

But both letters were ignored, with Braverman only responding to the Board on Wednesday, the same day as her CST speech.

“As we have made clear in the past, we would be pleased to meet the Home Secretary to directly discuss issues of interest to the Jewish community,” the Board president said in her statement on Thursday.

The statement praised the home Secretary’s announcement of increased funding for the CST for Jewish security in this country.

In an interview with the Jewish Chronicle this week, Braverman had claimed the Board had not contacted her before issuing a statement raising “significant concerns” around international law in relation to the illegal migration bill.

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