What is Priti Patel actually doing during this crisis? | Annie Lewis

In Boris Johnson’s speech outside 10 Downing Street last week, he said: ‘This is the biggest single challenge this country has faced since the war.’ And while many members of the public are praising government ministers for their handling of the pandemic, I, sadly, am not one of them.

Tuesday, 5th May 2020, 6:05 pm
Updated Tuesday, 5th May 2020, 6:05 pm
Priti Patel at a Downing Street media briefing on April 11. Photo: Pippa Fowles/10 Downing Street/Crown Copyright/PA Wire

What we can’t take away from the likes of Rishi Sunak, Dominic Raab and Matt Hancock is that they have been visible. They have stood at the podium, answered questions (how well they have done that is another matter) and also taken part in some debates such as BBC’s Question Time.

But one figure noticeable by her absence, nay almost invisible, is our very own Home Secretary, Priti Patel. For all we know, she may not even have got out of bed apart from gracing us with her presence at the odd daily briefing.

Yes, this virus has created a global pandemic. But we’re in lockdown for the benefit of our own country at the moment. So does this home affairs issue not come under her remit?

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Perhaps she is in hiding after she got away with the bullying scandal – having been cleared by the Cabinet Office of any wrongdoing. It got swept under the carpet because the government couldn’t handle a cabinet reshuffle while juggling a pandemic, which we apparently didn’t see coming over the hill from China. But she will still have to face Sir Philip Rutnam, her former Home Office permanent secretary, at an employment tribunal.

I guess it’s natural to keep a low profile after Whitehall sources claimed she ‘harassed and belittled’ staff while acting as International Development Secretary. Three civil servants came forward in the end. You know what they say – first time is a mistake, second time is choice, a third time shows character.

During Mrs Patel’s second press conference, she boasted how cases of shoplifting had fallen – at a time when shops are closed. She must be so proud about the lack of burglaries, considering everyone is at home.

Well done Priti, you are doing a truly outstanding job during the ’biggest single challenge this country has faced since the war’. You’re definitely one for the history books…

Is the Isle of Wight really the best place to trial this app?

Health Secretary Matt Hancock revealed that the NHS app which will trace the spread of coronavirus is going to be rolled out across the Isle of Wight.

I can certainly understand some of the advantages. It has a lower number of new infections, is covered by a single NHS trust, and travel to and from the island is quite restricted.

However, the average age of a resident on the Isle of Wight is 44. Now that is by no means old, but it’s also not young. The use of the app is also voluntary, so how many people will actually use it to its potential?

Like Matt Hancock said, ‘where the Isle of Wight goes, Britain follows’.

No pressure…

New Zealand’s leadership is strides ahead of UK and USA

As we hear the news that life in New Zealand is returning to normal, it makes everyone in the UK long for the same thing.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has handled the pandemic exceptionally with her country having a grand total of 20 deaths from Covid-19.

Compared to the UK’s 29,000 and America’s shocking 70,000 death toll, perhaps it’s time for two powerful male leaders to look at how a woman is successfully fighting the pandemic.

Donald Trump needs to stop with the blame game, while Boris Johnson must stop focusing on the UK’s apparent success when the figures show we’re on track to be the worst affected country in Europe.