Suella Braverman enjoys attacking lawyers – but even home secretaries can’t make justice illegal

The home secretary’s focus on a few dodgy solicitors – instead of the real problems the country is facing – is the start of leadership bid that will get even nastier, writes Sean O’Grady

Tuesday 08 August 2023 18:44 BST
9 August 2023
9 August 2023 (Dave Brown)

I must say that I was surprised to learn that the maximum penalty for helping someone remain in the UK by fraudulent means is life imprisonment, under the Immigration Act 1971. That, presumably, should be sanction enough for any lawyers trying to fabricate tales of persecution, trafficking and torture for an economic migrant, as has been alleged in recent days.

Even for our home secretary, Suella Braverman, herself some sort of lawyer (and therefore living proof that they are by no means all progressives), being banged up for the rest of one’s natural life ought to be a stiff enough sentence.

So the question arises as to what her new “Professional Enablers Taskforce” is supposed to do that isn’t capable of being done already by the criminal justice system. Backed by zero extra resources, the taskforce is unlikely to be in a position to go on lengthy fishing expeditions in solicitors’ offices or use press-style agent provocateur tactics to ensnare other legal practitioners who might not otherwise have committed any offence were they not lured into doing so.

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