Suella Braverman: former Home Secretary’s ‘tofu eating wokerati’, Public Order Bill comments explained

The now former Home Secretary’s comments came as her controversial Public Order Bill took a step towards realisation

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Suella Braverman last night accused opposition parties of forming a "coalition of chaos," as the Conservative Party continues to reel from former Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s disastrous “mini budget” last month, and the Prime Minister’s repeated U-turns on key policies, which have wrecked her authority and sparked serious discussion of a renewed leadership change just six weeks after her premiership began.

However, the Home Secretary’s controversial comments may have been one of her last acts in the job, as the Home Office confirmed tonight (19 October) that Braverman has been sacked.

Her comments came as MPs backed measures to create buffer zones around abortion facilities and hospitals in England and Wales, to provide greater protection to women by prohibiting demonstrators from gathering.

The amendment to the Public Order Bill was approved by the Commons by a vote of 297 to 110, with a majority of 187. But what exactly did Braverman say? Here is everything you need to know.

Braverman speaking on day three of the Conservative Party Conference on 4 October (Photo: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)Braverman speaking on day three of the Conservative Party Conference on 4 October (Photo: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Braverman speaking on day three of the Conservative Party Conference on 4 October (Photo: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

What did Suella Braverman say?

The Public Order Bill as a whole aims to crack down on “disruptive” protests, and includes a new offence of obstructing major transport networks, interfering with key national infrastructure - such as trains, roads and printing presses .

It also included expanded stop and search police powers in order to seize equipment meant for so-called “lock-on” activism methods.

Examples of lock-on techniques used by groups such as Insulate Britain and Just Stop Oil include protesters glueing or otherwise attaching themselves to roads or other sites to cause disruption.

The now former Home Secretary said: “It’s the Guardian-reading, tofu-eating wokerati, dare I say, the anti-growth coalition that we have to thank for the disruption that we are seeing on our roads today.”

What is tofu?

Tofu is a food that is made by coagulating soy milk and then pressing the curds into solid white blocks of variable softness. It is low in calories while providing a significant amount of protein.

It originated in China and has been a mainstay of Chinese cuisine for over 2,000 years, but it has since become an inexpensive staple in many countries including Vietnam, Thailand and Korea.

Braverman also accused opposition parties of being a “coalition” of chaos: “I’m afraid it’s the Labour Party, it’s the Lib Dems, it’s the coalition of chaos,” she added.

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper branded Braverman’s words “astonishing”, adding: “The Home Secretary actually talked about a coalition of chaos, we can see it in front of us as we speak.”

Is the Dartford Crossing open again?

Late on Tuesday (18 October), two protesters who had climbed the Dartford Crossing bridge on Monday, causing the vital transport link’s 36-hour closure, were brought down and detained by police.

Marcus and Morgan, members of the Just Stop Oil movement, ascended the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge and remained there for more than a day, preventing traffic from crossing. They slept in hammocks and hung a banner reading "Just Stop Oil" over the bridge.

The men were removed from the bridge by police using an elevated platform that had arrived on the scene on Tuesday afternoon. They were apprehended separately and arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit public nuisance.

The crossing was reopened by National Highways soon before 11pm.

“We successfully disrupted oil supplies to Kent and the South East for 36 hours and we are stepping down now,” the two protesters said in a joint statement released by Just Stop Oil on Twitter.

But they vowed that “other supporters of Just Stop Oil will be stepping up day after day, causing disruption and putting their liberty on the line to demand that the Government ends new oil and gas.”