In a sweeping speech which pledged to regain control of Britain’s borders and fight back against left-driven “identity politics”, Suella Braverman also said police in England will be given “all the powers necessary” to stop guerilla demonstrations and jail participants – and added that officers should never “take the knee” – a symbolic gesture against racism - or take part in any protests themselves.
Speaking at the Conservative Party Conference, Ms Braverman said she would create legislation to allow the government to send back refugees who crossed the Channel on small boats, or arrived in the UK helped by people smugglers, without giving them a chance to apply for asylum.
She told a fringe event at the conferrence earlier that it would be "her dream" to see a newspaper front page with a photo of a plane taking off to Rwanda with asylum seekers on board.
Unveiled earlier this year to heavy criticism, the scheme would send refugees who arrive in the UK and are considered “inadmissible” - ie have not arrived on a government-sanctioned scheme – to the African country, where they will stay if their application is granted.
"We cannot allow a foreign court to undermine the sovereignty of our borders," she said, referring to a last-minute move by the European Court of Human Rights to stop the first plane of refugees from taking off in June. “We need to find a way to make the Rwanda scheme work.”
She said Britain needs to “cut down on the numbers" of migrants in the country, saying the current system was not “meeting the needs of our economy”.
“We mustn't forget how to do things for ourselves,” she said. “There is absolutely no reason why we can't train up enough of our own HGV drivers or fruit pickers. The way we build a high skilled high wage economy is by encouraging businesses to invest in capital and domestic labour not relying wholly on low skilled foreign workers.
She insisted that it was not “racist”, or “xenophobic or bigoted” to tackle immigration.
"This is the best place on earth to come and live,” she said, adding that her own parents had emigrated to the UK from Kenya and Mauritius. “But I feel that we are losing sight of the core values and the culture that made it so. The unexamined drive towards multiculturalism as an end in itself, combined with the corrosive aspects of identity politics, has led us astray.”
Ms Braverman also warned that the “left are attacking our profound elemental values”, to replace them with the "poison of identity politics”.
“When this poison seeps into the public sphere, it distracts our public servants from doing their real job,” she said. “And that's why it's not only wrong for the police to take the knee. It is wrong for them to join in with political demonstrations. It is wrong for biologically male police officers to strip search female suspects. And it's not just that pandering to identity politics is a huge waste of time. They need to stick to catching the bad guys.”