A SCOTTISH charity boss has criticised the home secretary following comments made by Suella Braverman singling out British Pakistani men in concerns about grooming gangs.

Ms Braverman announced plans to introduce mandatory reporting of suspected sexual offences against children following the seven-year Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse investigating institutional failings in England and Wales.

Despite previous Home Office-commissioned research stating the majority of grooming gangs involve white men aged under 30, the home secretary described 'vulnerable white English girls' being harmed by 'gangs of British Pakistani men'.

Robina Qureshi, CEO of Positive Action in Housing, a refugee and migrant homelessness charity, said: "The home secretary, Suella Braverman, has reached a new low. 

READ MORE: The Tory Stop the Boats bill is nothing but jingoism

"Her remarks are in direct contradiction to her own department’s research. She is openly parroting far right myths about racial groups and amplifying them into national trends. 

"Her commentary is unacceptable, and I call on her to apologise for her gross misrepresentations of our communities."

The Home Secretary told Sky News' Sophy Ridge on Sunday show: "What we've seen is a practice whereby vulnerable white English girls sometimes in care, sometimes who are in challenging circumstances, being pursued and raped and drugged and harmed by gangs of British Pakistani men who have worked in child abuse rings or networks.

"We have seen institutions and state agencies, whether it is social workers, teachers, the police, turn a blind eye to these signs of abuse out of political correctness, out of fear of being called racist, out of fear of being called bigoted."

Mrs Braverman was challenged about a Home Office study published in 2020 that found child sexual abuse gangs are most commonly made up of white men but she added:

"There have been several reports since about the predominance of certain ethnic groups – and I say British Pakistani males – who hold cultural values totally at odds with British values.

"Who see women in a demeaned and illegitimate way and who pursue an outdated and frankly heinous approach in terms of the way they behave.

"We've got to stamp that out with criminal law and proper safeguarding and we are only going to do that if, as a society, we face up to the facts and the truth of what's actually going on."

READ MORE: Manston shows Suella Braverman's failure on immigration

Labour's Lisa Nandy, the shadow levelling up, housing and communities secretary, had also criticised the comments, saying Ms Braverman should "get real" and acknowledge that child sexual exploitation happens across all cultures.

Ms Qureshi said: "Her remarks are grossly offensive to thousands of peaceful, law abiding British Pakistanis. 

"The First Minister of Scotland happens to be of British Pakistani descent. Yet she displays all the tact of a bull in a china shop. 

"Parliament must reign in this government minister who openly tells mistruths in the face of her own department’s research. 

"Sadly, this home secretary appears to be on a mission to cause as much offence as possible to those of immigrant stock, and to appease her far right voter base. 

"Yet the irony for her is that the far right don’t want brown or black immigrants, or their children, or her, in this country or in positions of power.” 

Richard Scorer, head of abuse at Slater and Gordon, which represented the largest group of survivors in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), welcomed the plans to introduce mandatory reporting.

He said: "Mandatory reporting is essential and long overdue – survivors have been campaigning for it for years. 

READ MORE: An exclusive first look inside the renovation of Paisley Museum

"However, with any mandatory reporting law the devil is in the detail and it is imperative that the law is effective not just a gesture. 

"This means including criminal penalties for non reporting of reasonable suspicions of abuse. 

"Any watering down of what is needed to keep children safe will be a dreadful missed opportunity."