Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Home secretary Suella Braverman blames protest disruption on ‘tofu-eating wokerati’

It comes as Just Stop Oil continues to cause disruption on roads

Zoe Tidman
Wednesday 19 October 2022 12:22 BST
Comments
Suella Braverman blames travel disruption on 'tofu-eating wokerati'

MPs erupted in laughter in the House of Commons after the home secretary blamed disruptive climate protests on “Guardian-reading tofu-eating wokerati”.

Suella Braverman made the unusual accusation as Just Stop Oil continued to cause travel chaos by blocking roads and a major bridge over the Thames.

The group has promised to cause disruption every day this month in a call for an end to new oil and gas licences.

On Tuesday, activists who had climbed to the top of the Queen Elizabeth II bridge at the Dartford Crossing continued to cause disruption until they were brought down in the afternoon.

Protesters also blocked the A4 outside Barons Court tube station in west London - including some who had glued themselves to the tarmac.

Ms Braverman mentioned the group’s action during a debate on the Public Order Bill, which looks to introduce new powers to crack down on protests.

“It’s the Labour party, it’s the Lib Dems, it’s the coalition of chaos, it’s the Guardian-reading tofu-eating wokerati - dare I say, the anti-growth coalition - that we have to thank for the disruption we are seeing on our roads today,” she said.

MPs could be heard laughing in the Commons as she made the comments.

The home secretary went on to urge opposition MPs to support the bill, whose measures including protest banning orders and an extension of stop and search powers.

Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, responded by calling Ms Braverman’s comments “astonishing”.

“The home secretary actually talked about a coalition of chaos. We can see it in front of us as we speak,” she said.

Suella Braveman made the comments during a debate in parliament (Parliament TV)
Just Stop Oil protesters shut down the bridge at the Dartford Crossing (PA)

Appearing to use the bill as a metaphor for the row over embattled PM Liz Truss, she said: “You’ve got a selfish minority wreaking havoc. You’ve got someone who’s resisting all attemps by the powers that be to remove them, causing serious disruption, disorder, chaos, with serious consequences for the public, for business, for politics and for financial markets. But they’ve glued themselves under the desk.”

She added: “With MPs opposite, we wish them luck with their attemps to extricate another failing Tory MP from No 10. But I suggest it isn’t a reason to change the law for everyone else.”

The Public Order Bill cleared parliament on Tuesday afternoon and will be sent to the House of Lords for further scrutiny.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in