Home secretary Priti Patel has been branded “shameless” after she attacked “do-gooders”, “lefty lawyers” and the Labour party for failures in the asylum system, as she pledged to toughen Britain’s immigration laws.
It comes as Rishi Sunak clashed with Boris Johnson over Eat Out to Help Out. Ahead of his speech at the Conservative Party conference, the chancellor said he “definitely” had no regrets about the scheme – despite the prime minister’s suggestion on Sunday it may have helped spread coronavirus.
Meanwhile the government is facing mounting criticism following its admission yesterday almost 16,000 Covid-19 cases had not been registered because of an IT glitch. Cabinet minister Therese Coffey has admitted she doesn’t know how many close contacts of individuals infected were not tracked as a result of testing blunder.
Johnson unlikely to get ‘warm welcome’ from Biden, says ex-ambassador
Boris Johnson is unlikely to get a “warm welcome” from the White House if Joe Biden wins the presidential election because of lingering resentment over his remarks about Barack Obama, according to Britain’s former ambassador to Washington.
Lord Darroch said there was still some “resentment and unhappiness” over comments Johnson made while mayor of London about the former US president. He also said Johnson would find it easier to secure a trade deal with Donald Trump than Biden.
In 2016 Johnson wrote a newspaper column in which he said the removal of a bust of Churchill from Obama’s office was seen by some as a sign of an “ancestral dislike of the British Empire” and his “part-Kenyan” ancestry.
“I promise you there is still some resentment and unhappiness over that,” said Lord Darroch. “I’m not sure there will be, you know, quite the warm, welcoming embrace from Biden for Boris Johnson … as it would be from Donald Trump.”
Adam Forrest5 October 2020 09:09
Minister admits she doesn’t know how many contacts missed
Cabinet minister Therese Coffey has admitted that she does not know how many close contacts of individuals infected with coronavirus were not tracked because of the big IT blunder.
Public Health England (PHE) revealed its official Covid dashboard had underreported almost 16,000 cases last week due to a technical glitch – which led to a significant delay in tracing contacts.
Blaming PHE, Coffey said: “We can’t change the recent history, PHE will make sure that this sort of error doesn’t happen again but they did pick up this error and I think they’ve acted quickly to rectify it.”
Asked if she knows how many potential close contacts have not been traced, she said: “I’m afraid I just don’t have that information.”
Adam Forrest5 October 2020 08:56
Sunak says ‘no regrets’ over Eat Out to Help Out
Rishi Sunak has insisted he has no regrets over the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, despite the prime minister’s suggestion it may have helped spread coronavirus.
“No, definitely not,” Sunak said when asked if he held any regrets. “We had an industry that I care deeply about because of employment. It’s over two million people.”
He also expressed sympathy over public (and Tory backbench) anger at the 10pm pub curfew brought in as an attempt to curb infections.
“Everyone is very frustrated and exhausted and tired about all of this,” he told the paper.
Adam Forrest5 October 2020 08:28
Priti Patel condemned for her attack on lawyers and ‘do-gooders’
Home secretary Priti Patel has been branded “shameless” after she pledged to toughen Britain’s asylum laws and fix what she called a “broken” system.
Speaking on Sunday at the Conservative Party’s online conference, Patel accused all who spoke up for the current asylum regime as “defending the indefensible” and dismissed her opponents as “the traffickers, the do-gooders, the leftie lawyers, the Labour Party”.
But Labour has accused the home secretary of trying to avoid blame for a system the Tories had created after ten years in government.
“The British people will see through the Home Secretary’s shameless comments about a ‘broken system’, when the system has been overseen by the Tories for a decade. This is yet more evidence of how lacking in compassion and competence the Tories are.”
Charities have joined Labour in criticising Patel’s speech. Detention Action accused the home secretary of attempting to “turn the clock back on over 50 years of progress on refugee protection”, while Amnesty said the proposals were “nonsensical”.
Adam Forrest5 October 2020 08:25