Eichel Gove has defended his cabinet colleague Suella Braverman over her conversation with a Holocaust survivor in which she refused to apologize for what she described as an “invasion” of Channel crossing migrants.
Asked at a Holocaust Memorial Day event about the encounter, the Leveling Up secretary said she had not seen the full conversation, which was captured on video, but she was a “big fan” of Ms Braverman’s policies.
Survivor Joan Salter, 83, was seen in the four-minute clip confronting Ms Braverman and comparing her language to the language used by Nazis on migrants attempting to cross the English Channel.
On Wednesday evening, Mr Gove spoke at an event two days before Holocaust Memorial Day at the Concert Hall in St John’s Smith Square in central London.
Asked about Ms Braverman’s conversation with Ms Salter and whether she supported her rhetoric, Mr Gove told the PA news agency: “Well, Suella is a friend and colleague of mine.
“She was very clear in the House of Commons about why she used the language she did. I am not aware of the incident so I will investigate it.”
“But I will continue to do what Suella has done and do to ensure that the terrible trade in human suffering attributed to human traffickers can end.”
Asked if he supported her choice of words, Mr Gove said: “Suella explained very clearly and helpfully that she was talking about the scale of the problem we are facing .
“Everyone recognizes that this is a very significant challenge, and one that many other countries face.”
Mr Gove stayed at the Holocaust memorial event to speak with several survivors, and used his speech to thank them for the “bravery” they had displayed by sharing painful personal stories.
Speaking at the lecture, she said: “At a time when we face misinformation, deceit and denial, we need to hear the truth, and Martin and other survivors are the most powerful currency we have to fight prejudice. “
Mr Gove also said the Holocaust Memorial Learning Centre, which is being built next to Parliament, will be “a permanent reminder of the unique evil of the Holocaust” and “an opportunity for people to recommit themselves to fighting and stopping hate”. will serve as a permanent rallying point for Massacre.
Olivia Marks-Woldman, chief executive of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, told PA that “everyone can take responsibility for their own language”.
Speaking about Ms Salter’s comments to the Home Secretary, he said: “They highlighted a really interesting point about language, and that everyone can take responsibility for their own language, and make sure they Using language that is respectful of others.
“I would encourage anyone interested in Holocaust Memorial Day to reflect on how they use language and to think about the impact we have on our words and our own interactions with others is that we can humanize people and show respect and dignity even when we disagree with people.”
The victims of the Holocaust are remembered every year on 27 January – the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp.
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