Former Police Chief Neil Basu Expected to Lead UK Border Security Amid Controversy Over His Woke Stance

Neil Basu, a former head of Counter Terror Policing, is poised to take on a significant new role under the current government. Known for his outspoken views, Basu, who has openly embraced the label “woke,” is the leading candidate to become Border Security Commander, with a potential salary of up to £200,000. He previously advised Home Secretary Yvette Cooper on illegal migration issues while in opposition and supported Labour at their election launch.

Mixed Reactions

Basu’s potential appointment has sparked controversy among senior Conservatives. After retiring from Scotland Yard in 2022, following an unsuccessful bid to lead the National Crime Agency, Basu, the highest-ranking non-white officer in the UK at the time, has remained a contentious figure. His comments on institutional racism within the Metropolitan Police and his support for positive discrimination have drawn both praise and criticism. Additionally, he faced backlash for threatening to prosecute journalists over leaked US embassy cables and for comparing former Home Secretary Suella Braverman to Enoch Powell over her stance on deporting asylum-seekers to Rwanda.

Proud to be Woke

In a Channel 4 News interview, Basu did not shy away from his views, expressing horror at what he described as outdated and harmful rhetoric from some politicians. He proudly identified as “woke,” stating, “Are you alert to issues of racial and social justice? Yes, I am. And if that is the definition of woke, I’ll wear it as a bumper sticker every day of the week.”

Political Backlash

A senior Conservative told the Mail, “He will be delighted that there’s a Labour government. This is a job for their mates. They talk tough, but you’ve got people who have got no intention of stopping the boats.” This sentiment reflects a broader skepticism about Basu’s ability to effectively manage border security, particularly regarding cooperation with France.

Academic Critique

Matthew Goodwin, a politics professor at the University of Kent, weighed in on the potential appointment, noting Basu’s previous comments and positions on various social and political issues. Goodwin questioned whether Basu’s appointment would restore public confidence in handling the small boats crisis, considering his outspoken support for diversity, inclusion, and opposition to a “No Deal” Brexit.

Questions from Former Officials

Former Home Secretary James Cleverly and former Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick have also raised concerns. Cleverly questioned the need for a new Border Security Command when a similar unit, the Small Boats Operational Command (SBOC), already exists. He wondered whether this move was merely a political gimmick. Jenrick criticized Labour’s plan to scrap the Rwanda deterrent, arguing that the new plan mirrors existing measures.

The Road Ahead

As Basu stands on the brink of this crucial role, his past actions and statements continue to stir debate. Whether his leadership will bring the desired changes to border security remains to be seen, but it is clear that his appointment is already making waves in the political landscape.

TDPel Media

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