Amber Rudd ‘worried’ about some of Priti Patel’s initiatives
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Speaking exclusively to the Sunday Express, the Home Secretary said she has leftwing activist lawyers, Extinction Rebellion eco-terrorists, criminals and illegal immigrants in her sights warning that “there will be no hiding place” for those who harm our country. “I am completely unapologetic about that. “I am a part of a government that has conviction going through our veins. I think the public are feeling that now. They really are. I think the machinery of government is feeling that too.”
Already Ms Patel can point to successes since the historic 2019 election. The government already has 8,781 of the 20,000 new police officers promised on the streets by the next general election in 2024.
They have rolled up 650 county lines in the last year and helped protect hundreds of vulnerable children. The biggest operation in British history was carried out last year “helping to get weapons off the streets, zapping the drug barons, and dealing with money laundering.”
Crime was falling even before lockdown. And despite the efforts of “activist lawyers”, Ms Patel has managed to ensure that more than 600 foreign offenders, with a combined sentence of more than 1,400 years in prison, have been deported from the UK so far this year, with over 100 further offenders due to be removed next week.
This week she signed a new deal with India to be allowed to deport foreign criminals who have no right to stay and is pursuing other similar agreements around the world.
“It feels good to be part of a British government that is on side with the British people and delivering for them. That for me is crucial. “None of this sort of soft-peddling nonsense that the public have no appetite for anyway.
“For 10 years even as a backbench MP I have been an advocate for all of that. That is how the British public feel and they want their government to deliver on that.”
A major part of the Queen’s Speech next week will be her Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill “a nice wrap around bill that will fix our broken system.”
She said: “This is a classic crime and punishment bill. If you are a villain inflicting the most dreadful crimes among vulnerable people, blighting communities through drugs and thuggery desecration of war memorials and assaulting police officers there will be no space for you to hide.”
Then there will be “tough” new legislation to fix the “broken asylum system” and immigration policy.
“Our asylum system is completely broken, it is overwhelmed. We have a ridiculous 100,000 people plus stuck in a system that is static.”
She is furious that covid has forced the government to put them in hotels and not be allowed to deport them. Reflecting on the more than 600 foreign criminals already deported she said: “We can never do enough of those people.
“Express readers will be absolutely horrified in the problems we have in removing foreign national offenders – murderers, rapists, drug dealers, the people who cause harm across the UK who are devastating the lives of victims.
“We still have these specialist immigration lawyers when we are trying to remove them.” She also promises reform to curb the activities of activist lawyers describing them as “a stain”.
“It should be a stain on the consciences of these people making these representations on behalf of these heinous criminals.
“They are part of the broken system. They are defending the indefensible. The British public and their taxes cannot keep on being spent on these legal claims which come to court.
“People’s taxes should be spent on making sure money goes on protecting those who should be protected, not those who are exploiting a broken system and coming here through illegal means. This is big reform. It is hard reform.”
Ms Patel is also unapologetic about bringing in new laws to control protests after Britain’s streets were “blighted” by Extinction Rebellion and Black Lives Matter protesters over the last year.
“This comes back to giving the police the powers they need to keep the public safe. On public order and protests in particular the last legislation is from 1984 which clearly needs updating.
“The tactics we are seeing these protesters taking as we saw last year and in 2019. If you look at the likes of Extinction Rebellion.
“When they can bring a cornerstone of our democracy to a grinding halt when newspapers can’t be printed and distributed because they have wired themselves up to lorries in dangerous positions or they have built scaffolding out of bamboo polls and they are suspending themselves from it, where there is threat to life and they are using guerilla tactics which can endanger the lives of others it is unacceptable. That is undermining our way of life and our freedoms.”
The Home Secretary has also been unwavering in her support for the police during the pandemic despite many criticisms but she insisted they are “heroes”.
“They put themselves in such dangerous positions and I come back to some of the protests and the riots we have seen. We have seen officers being assaulted. I have seen the most appalling injuries to officers.
“If you recall with the [BLM] protests which took place around the Cenotaph we saw a police officer thrown off her horse when an absolute thug threw a bicycle at that horse. That shattered her collarbone.
“Then of course at the other extreme end we see murders as we have seen of the PCSO [Julia James]. Awful.
“Then bless him the horror that came upon PC Andrew Harper. These are the unspeakable things people do to individuals that are there, put their lives on the line to protect us.”
For her the change that has come in government and the alignment with Whitehall delivering on the values of the wider British public goes back to the EU referendum and Brexit where she played a pivotal role in Vote Leave and later one of the Spartans to hold out against Theresa May’s deal.
“I bring it back to the campaign which Express] stood with us on which was Brexit back in 2016 when the entire machinery of government and the institutions of the state were campaigning against it.
“The public spoke and we are absolutely on the side of the British people and that is what I maintain and we see in the election results.
“Just think back to what it was like, we were vilified, we were subject to all sorts of just awful things and that was basically from the arms of the state.
“The sneering and all the sorts of things that took place and we felt absolutely, we believe in our country, we believe in the British people, we believe in the ingenuity of the British public and that is intrinsic to a lot of our politics as well.
“I say this for Boris too. We are very similar in that sense in terms of beliefs and standing up for the British people.”
After the Theresa May government got mired in trying to find a solution to Brexit, Ms Patel said that Mr Johnson restored trust in the government with his approach to “getting it done.” “Getting Brexit done, that was enormous.
“That gives the public confidence when they can see their political leaders not rolling over, not conceding but standing up for our values and our country and promises and pledges we made.”
And it is no surprise to her that the election results have confirmed that the former red wall Labour heartlands are transforming into a blue wall in the North of England and Midlands. “If we look at Labour right now what do they stand for?
They are anti-police, anti tougher sentences, they voted against the Police, Crime and Sentencing and Courts Bill, they are anti the protection of our police officers and emergency workers.
“They despise our country. Look at how they speak about our country. They are simply not on the side of the British people and if this set of elections tells them and shows them nothing else, they have got a long, long way to go to understand what the British public want.”
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