Tory MP Suella Braverman has been criticised for using the phrase “cultural marxism” at an event in Westminster hosted by the Bruges Group today.
“We are engaged in a war against cultural marxism. We’re engaged in a battle against socialism,” she told the audience, as revealed by Guardian journalist Dawn Foster.
According to the report, the former Brexit minister defended her use of the far-right term at the meeting, saying: “I believe we are in a war, no one can be offended, it is damaging for our British genius.”
Braverman received “rapturous applause” from the audience after pledging to oppose Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal, Foster reported.
Braverman’s use of the phrase “cultural marxism” drew criticism online, with social media users pointing out its far-right connotations.
Guardian reporter Peter Walker tweeted: “This is *not* to suggest that Suella B is expressing far-right views or engaging in conspiracy theories.
“But it’s notable to observe how such very loaded and frankly slightly unsavoury terms are shifting into more mainstream discourse. And she is a Conservative MP.”
The phrase, which has a long and chequered history, was invoked in the manifesto of the Norwegian far-right mass shooter Anders Breivik, who killed 77 people in 2011.
It was also employed by Eduardo Bolsonaro, the son of Brazil’s president, after a meeting with Steve Bannon.
“[Bannon] said be [sic] an enthusiast of Bolsonaro’s campaign and we are certainly in touch to join forces, especially against cultural marxism,” Bolsonaro wrote in a tweet.
A Board of Deputies spokesperson said: “Suella Braverman MP may not have been aware of it, but the term ‘cultural Marxist’ has a history as an antisemitic trope.
“We would ask for her to clarify the remarks and undertake not to use the phrase in future.”
Braverman has been approached for comment.