Priti Patel’s Chief of Staff Ejected from Houses of Parliament

The Guardian newspaper has reported that James Starkie, the Chief of Staff to Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, has been ordered out from the Stranger’s Bar following a violent incident.

A spokesperson for the Houses of Parliament said:

“We can confirm there was an incident with an individual in Strangers’ Bar. The individual was asked to leave and was escorted from the estate by parliamentary security.”

Patel has yet to comment on the incident.

Priti Patel Demands End to Freedom of Movement on 31 October 2019

Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, has demanded that freedom of movement must end on 31 October 2019, despite previous promises by the Government that a longer period would be given for EU citizens to register for settled status. There are an estimated three million EU citizens in the UK and the previous cut-off date had been confirmed by the Government by late 2020, with only one million currently registered.

A spokesperson for Patel said:

“The home secretary has been clear in her intention to take back control of our borders and end free movement after 31 October. Ending free movement means we are no longer required to give unlimited and uncontrolled access to those from EU countries when they are coming here seeking to work”.

Diane Abbott, the Shadow Home Secretary, said on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme about the proposals:

“I think it will create chaos, it will be problematic for business and it’ll be very difficult for EU nationals”.

She added:

“Those EU nationals who are here and who haven’t registered for status will be in the same position as the Windrush people”.

New British Passports Likely to Made in the EU

The new blue British passports are likely to be made in the EU following the successful tender of the Dutch-French company Gemalto. Sources from the Government are suggesting that the new contract will save the tax-payer around £120 million.

A spokesperson for the Government said:

“The preferred bidder has been selected following a rigorous, fair and open competition and all bidders were notified of the outcome last night. The chosen company demonstrated that they will be best able to meet the needs of our passport service with a high quality and secure product at the best value for money for our customers and the taxpayer.

It’s been the case since 2009 that we do not require passports to be manufactured in the UK. A proportion of passports have been made overseas since then with up to 20 per cent of blank passport books currently produced in Europe with no security or operational concerns”.

De la Rue, the company that currently holds the tender to produce UK passports said in a statement:

“Over the last few months we have heard ministers happy to come on the media and talk about the new blue passport and the fact that it is an icon of British identity. But now this icon of British identity is going to be manufactured in France. I’d like to ask Theresa May or Amber Rudd to come to my factory and explain to our dedicated workforce why this is a sensible decision to offshore the manufacture of a British icon”.

Priti Patel, the former Cabinet Minister who quit after breaches of the Ministerial Code were uncovered, condemned the decision and said that it was “a national humiliation”.

Priti Patel Resigns from Cabinet after Being Ordered to Return to Downing Street

Priti Patel, the International Development Secretary, has resigned following a meeting with Theresa May, the Prime Minister. Patel had been called back to Downing Street from a trip to Africa following a series of allegations that she had broken the Ministerial code during a summer trip to Israel.

Patel had admitted that during a holiday to Israel she had met key figures in the country without the clearance of the Foreign Secretary and without having civil servants at the meetings.

Labour Call on Priti Patel to Face Investigation or Quit over Breaches of Ministerial Code

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”.

Priti Patel Apologises Over Failing to Disclose Meetings With Israeli Politicians

Priti Patel, the Secretary of State for International Development, has admitted that she failed to disclose meetings with Israeli politicians whilst on a family holiday. Patel also admitted that Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, had not been told in advance about her plans.

Patel said in a statement:

“This summer I travelled to Israel, on a family holiday paid for myself. While away I had the opportunity to meet a number of people and organisations. I am publishing a list of who I met.‎ The Foreign and Commonwealth Office was aware of my visit while it was underway‎.

In hindsight, I can see how my enthusiasm to engage in this way could be mis-read, and how meetings were set up and reported in a way which did not accord with the usual procedures. I am sorry for this and I apologise for it”.

The Labour Party has called on the Prime Minister to launch an investigation into Patel’s actions.

UK to Give Additional Financial Aid to Dominica

The British Government has confirmed that it is to give an additional £5 million in aid to Dominica in a bid to help them recover from the damage caused by Hurricane Maria. The hurricane caused significant damage to the island, with over 98% of buildings damaged and most left without power.

Priti Patel, the Secretary of State for International Development, said:

“The UK has pledged to give £5 million to the people of Dominica, the island worst hit by Hurricane Maria – on top of the £57 million already promised to the region – to strengthen recovery following these relentless disasters.

I have come to the British Virgin Islands and Anguilla to see first-hand UK aid in action, helping families whose lives have been ripped apart first by Hurricane Irma and then Maria.

The UK is leading the way in the relief effort, delivering emergency food, water and shelter to those who need it most. We will continue to clear up after this devastation in the weeks, months and years to come”.

Government Condemns the Recent Violence in Burma

Priti Patel, the Secretary of State for International Development, has criticised the recent violence in Burma and pledged money to help the country. The Rohingya, a group made up primarily of Muslims, has been discriminated against and more recently violence has been targeted against them.

Patel said in a statement:

“The appalling violence in Rakhine must stop now. Britain urgently calls upon the security forces to de-escalate the situation in Rakhine and the Government of Burma to allow immediate and full humanitarian access and support for the people and communities affected. Without full access the needs of innocent men, women and children will not be met, and more lives will be lost.

Right now, aid workers are getting British-funded humanitarian assistance to more than 80,000 people in parts of Rakhine State and this work must be allowed to continue unimpeded. Elsewhere, DFID’s partners are ready to provide emergency food to 30,000 people and to treat more than 3,000 severely malnourished children and pregnant women, but cannot get the access they need. Things must change. The Government of Burma must act now and allow this desperately needed help to get through.

The impact of this violence on neighbouring Bangladesh is huge. DFID is and will continue to meet the humanitarian needs of vulnerable Rohingya who have fled into Bangladesh providing over 55,000 people with food and protecting the most vulnerable, including women and girls. But with more people fleeing for their safety, Britain is immediately releasing a further £5 million from existing funds to provide additional critical life-saving assistance – such as food, shelter, water and sanitation to those who are fleeing the violence.

Britain is ready to support the recommendations of the Kofi Annan led Rakhine Advisory Commission to assist the long-term development of all people in Rakhine state, but right now the immediate action is for the security forces to end the violence and the Government of Burma to allow humanitarian access”.

Labour Criticise Government’s Response to Flooding in South Asia

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.

Osamor said:

“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”.