Comments made by Home Secretary, Suella Braverman in a Mail on Sunday article published in April, claiming that ‘almost all’ child grooming gangs were British Pakistani, have been ruled as false by the press regulator Ipso. The inaccurate claims made in the article have since been retracted by the Mail on Sunday, as ordered by Ipso.
British Pakistan Foundation, a non-profit organisation who advocate for 1.8 million Pakistanis in the UK, are pleased at this development, having written two open letters to the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, urging a response and condemnation of Braverman’s comments.
The issue was investigated by Ipso, followed by pressure from the Muslim Council of Britain, who made a complaint utilising their regulatory system, the ‘Centre for Media Monitoring’, in an effort to correct British Media when unreliable and harmful rhetoric is published without proper fact checking. Upon further scrutiny, Ipso found that the statement was ‘false and misleading’, as the Home Office’s own research concludes that ‘offenders were mainly from white backgrounds’.
However, the Mail on Sunday also argued that advisers to the Home Secretary and Prime Minister had ‘no concern over this particular line’ before the article was published. Therefore, British Pakistan Foundation will continue contact with the Prime Minister’s office, aiming to schedule a meeting with the Prime Minister, to see how the government and the British Pakistani community can work together, in order to maintain social cohesion.