The Times newspaper has alleged that Kate Osamor, the Shadow Secretary for International Development, has threatened one of their journalists with physical violence. Osamor threw water over the journalist, who was attempting to ask the shadow Minister about her son who has pleaded guilty to serious drugs offences. The Times also alleged that the Shadow Minister said that she “should have come down here with a bat and smashed your face in” to the journalist.
Osamor left the Labour front bench after the allegations were made, with the Shadow Minister refusing to deny the Times article.
Michelle Stanistreet, the general secretary of the National Union of Journalists, said in a statement:
“Journalists, like any other workers, need to be able to go about their work without fear of threats or assault. It’s completely unacceptable to respond to legitimate press queries, however unwelcome they may be, with physical or verbal abuse.
There is a disturbing and febrile international climate at the moment that is facilitating and legitimising the notion that it is open season on journalists – such insidious and dangerous beliefs, particularly when they emanate from public figures in positions of authority, have to be challenged at every turn.”
Kate Osamor, the Shadow Secretary of State for International Development, has called on Priti Patel to face an investigation over breaches of the Ministerial Code. Patel had apologised and Theresa May, the Prime Minister, has said that she considers the matter closed.
Osamor said in a statement:
“It is hard to think of a more black and white case of breaking the ministerial code. It is time the secretary of state either faces a Cabinet Office investigation or does the decent thing and just resigns”.
Liam Fox, the International Trade Secretary, said in a statement:
“Priti Patel also had meetings with a number of charities and I find it utterly unsurprising that the international aid secretary would want to talk to charities while she’s on holiday in a particular area about whether or not we can use the British aid budget to diminish the humanitarian problems there”.
Kate Osamor, the Shadow Secretary of State for International Development, has criticised the Government’s response to the recent flooding in South Asia. The floods have already killed over 1,300 people and have primarily hit Bangladesh, Pakistan, India and Nepal.
“Priti Patel’s response to the floods in South Asia has been slow and insufficient. It has now been more than two weeks since the floods struck and Priti Patel’s announcement last Friday that the UK will contribute just £400,000 of new funding in Nepal, from an annual aid budget of over £13 billion is not good enough.
Priti Patel must now urgently come before Parliament this week and make a statement that keeps the world’s eyes on South Asia and shows that this government is serious about tackling the unfolding catastrophe”.
Priti Patel, the Secretary of State for International Development, had said:
“The devastating flooding in South Asia is truly heart-breaking. Entire communities have lost their homes, their livelihoods and their loved ones. The UK has stepped up to support the region, our pre-positioned relief supplies ensured thousands of people received immediate support and we continue to provide assistance to vulnerable people who have lost everything”.
Kate Osamor, the Shadow Equality Minister and Labour MP for Edmonton, has been criticised for seeking unpaid help for her constituency office.
Osamor advertised the role on w4mp (work for an MP) and the job entailed working on community based projects, gathering data, presenting findings, general office support and learning about aspects of support in a constituency office.
The role stipulated that it would be “voluntary” and “expenses only”. The role also required a degree or equivalent and commitment for the length of the role.
After complaints Osamor withdrew the advertisement and said “it was a mistake”.